- On June 2, 2021
If you’re wondering how long your air conditioner will last, make sure to read our guide below to learn:
- The average lifespan of an air conditioner is 15-20 years nationally, but that range will vary greatly depending on the specific region where the unit is used.
- A variety of factors will determine exactly how long your unit will last, including the local climate and your maintenance schedule.
- Even if your system isn’t quite at the end of its lifespan, you may find benefits from replacing your A/C unit with a new model.
Like all good things, your air conditioner won’t last forever. While you should expect at least a decade of good use from your A/C unit, various factors may help extend that period or even shorten it. The key takeaway, though, is that there will come a time you’ll need to replace your system, and you should rely on trusted local professionals to perform a quality installation.
How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
There are a lot of factors that go into the lifespan of your air conditioner. If you pop “how long does ac unit last” into your favorite search engine, though, you’ll receive an answer of around 15 to 20 years.
However, this range doesn’t tell the whole story. It considers air conditioning usage from the entire country and all the diverse climates within the national borders. As you can imagine, Alaskans may use their air conditioner less than the people of Florida, for example.
Seattle is the least air-conditioned metropolitan area in the country. Air conditioners there, where climates are temperate and rarely stray too far from a comfortable range, may end up lasting well past the two-decade mark due to their occasional use. Phoenix residents, on the other hand, with its intense heat and 300 days of sunshine, are more likely to turn on their A/C throughout the year.
So, yes, there are places where an air conditioner may last almost 20 years, if not slightly more. However, Arizonans may need to replace their systems twice as quickly, with an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Still, you may find multiple benefits from replacing your A/C unit before it’s run into the ground. The Department of Energy estimates that replacing even a decade-old system can lower energy costs each month. Replacing your system earlier than its death may also help save you from the expensive repairs or parts replacement necessary to eke out an extra year or two of service.
What Factors Determine How Long AC Units Last?
An average lifespan doesn’t guarantee a timeframe of peak operation for your air conditioner. There are a variety of factors that will determine how long your specific A/C unit lasts.
Starting at the very beginning, the quality of your unit’s initial installation plays a significant role in the system’s lifespan. Air conditioners are designed to cool a specific area. A poorly designed system may mean it’s forced to kick to work relentlessly to cool a too-big space. For instance, if the ductwork is improperly sealed or installed, leaks indicate your air conditioner has to work extra hard due to the loss of cool air as it moves through the ducts.
After installation, an air conditioning system needs regular maintenance and prompt repairs. Ideally, you should have trusted professionals, like those at Howard Air inspect your system at least once a year. If your home is often harassed by an abundance of dust storms or strong winds, you should have a technician come out slightly more often.
This maintenance process helps uncover minor issues that will quickly snowball into much more expensive ones if left untreated. This type of attention can help prolong the life of your system and keep it running in peak or close-to-peak conditions throughout that time.
If you notice an issue with your A/C outside of your regular maintenance cycle, you also should have a skilled technician come out to assess the issues. Letting your system run while it’s experiencing issues can add wear and tear to internal parts. This can lead to the entire system breaking down.
What Are the Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner?
Your monthly energy bill serves as a good indicator of whether your A/C unit is nearing its end. If your bills are rising despite no change in your typical use of the air conditioning system, this means the system is starting to work less efficiently. As the energy efficiency of the central unit continues to deteriorate, you may find yourself sinking money into expensive utility bills that could go towards a new, more efficient system.
While it’s normal to need an off-schedule repair call now and then to remedy an issue with an air conditioner, if those calls grow in frequency, you’re likely reaching the point where it makes more sense to purchase a new unit altogether. Repairs and parts replacement can be expensive, and you may find that it makes more financial sense to replace your old system instead of trying to keep your current one running.
Another sign that you need a new air conditioner is if the temperature within your home refuses to stay consistent. This may mean that one room is far hotter than another or that the temperatures throughout the home swing wildly up and down. If you find yourself constantly checking and adjusting the thermostat, you may need a new system.
When Should You Consider Buying a New Air Conditioning System?
The obvious answer here is whenever you realize your old system is beginning to falter. Between repairs, parts replacement, and increased energy bills, you’ll quickly find you’re pouring more and more money into a system that’s about to meet its end when you could instead use that money on a new system.
New systems can be expensive, but there are multiple financing options available to you. Federal, state, and local governments offer rebates and incentives to help offset the upfront cost. Some people find that their total monthly expenses go down with a new system, even if they choose to finance, due to their radically reduced utility bills.
You should also consider purchasing a new system if your air conditioning needs change. For instance, if you build an addition to your home or convert previously unused space to a new bedroom or workspace. A new system can be designed to cover these new living areas while ensuring the A/C unit operates efficiently.
Keep Your Home Comfortable With Howard Air
We hear the question all the time: How long do AC units last? To reiterate, that can be a difficult question to answer generally. At Howard Air, though, we can send our professional technicians to assess your current system and help you weigh the factors of seeking more repairs or purchasing a new system altogether.
Whichever route you take, you can trust our highly skilled team to properly install a new system or service your current one. To see how we can help keep your Phoenix area home comfortable, call us today at 480-648-0055.
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