How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

An air conditioner is a must-have in any home as it provides cool comfort during the hot summer months. Whether you're planning to replace a current system or looking to repair an existing one, it pays to know how long your air conditioner will last. We have researched this extensively to save you the hassle, and we'll walk you through the steps required to determine how long your AC will last. 

Air conditioners typically last between 15 to 20 years. Although this is a general estimate, different factors can affect the lifespan of an air conditioner, including the amount of space, usage, maintenance, weather, etc.

An air conditioner is one of the biggest investments you make when improving your home, but it can be expensive to have one repaired. To help avoid this, continue reading this article and discover how you can prolong the life of your air conditioner.

Air conditioner on wall, How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Tips to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running in Good Condition Long-Term

As an homeowner, you may have thought, how will air conditioners last for many years? As you continue to operate the unit, it could become inefficient and may even need to be replaced. However, if the air conditioning system is properly maintained, it can last for many years, possibly even 20 years or more.

Air conditioners need regular maintenance, including cleaning, repairing, and replacing parts when needed. Cleaning will reduce the build-up of dust, dirt, and other particles. Clean filters are an important part of keeping the air conditioning system in tip-top shape.

Replacing filters can also improve the performance of the air conditioner. In addition, maintaining the proper amount of refrigerant will keep the unit running efficiently. 

There are times when the unit may need to be repaired. This includes fixing leaky or damaged parts, especially if the unit is already old. It is always a good idea to have the air conditioner checked by a qualified HVAC technician to evaluate if the AC can still be repaired, or will require a new one. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the repair could cost more than you would have expected.

Technician in blue gloves and mask disassembling air conditioner and preparing it for cleaning air conditioners help to avoid

How Long Does an Air Conditioner Last If Used Regularly?

Just like any electrical home appliance, frequent usage can contribute to premature AC failure, especially if routine maintenance gets neglected. 

It is really not a question of whether the air conditioner unit is used frequently or not, as long as you keep a watchful eye on your system's performance and ensure that the routine maintenance is adhered to.

Air Conditioning Units: Size Matters!

When buying an air conditioner, it is also important to keep in mind that your unit can last longer if you use the right size for your home. How powerful your unit should be depends on the square footage of the room you are trying to cool.  

Central air conditioning units tend to be more energy-efficient if you want to cool your entire home, but they come with higher installation costs. Window units can be installed more quickly, but they may require more maintenance.

The amount of space where you want your air conditioner installed should always be taken into consideration. A large-capacity air conditioner fitted into a small room may cool it quickly, but this may result in the air conditioner cutting its cycle short, adding unwanted wear and tear that shortens its lifespan.

manometers measuring equipment for filling air conditioners,gauges

Does Choosing the Right Make and Model Affect the Lifespan of an Air Conditioner?

The model is the next vital factor to look at, as it will determine the unit's efficiency. Make sure that it meets the standard efficiency level set by the local government

Different models are designed for unique use. We also recommend hiring qualified people to install your air conditioner. Not only will you be sure that the unit will be placed properly, but you can also get some professional advise on how to maintain your AC to maximize its lifespan. You should also be aware of the manufacturer's warranty to take advantage of free parts replacement and labor.

Are New Conditioners Better Than Old Ones?

Planned obsolescence is a term used to describe the practice of creating a product that will become obsolete. It refers to the tendency of manufacturers to design products with an eye toward their eventual uselessness, encouraging you to buy their newer, improved model. This concept applies to air conditioning systems just like anything else.

The main reason for the practice of planned obsolescence is to increase sales. A product that is being replaced every few years will continue to sell well. The newer version has a better design, is easier to use, and it's also easier to maintain. Replacing an older model with a newer model at least avoids time-consuming repairs.

In addition, newer air conditioners are often more expensive than their predecessors. In addition to being expensive, they also offer a lot of extra features. Here are some examples of these additional features:

  • Programmable thermostats
  • Digital controls
  • Energy-saving technology
  • Self-diagnostics
  • Remote controls

Are Older Air Conditioners Good?

Despite the innovations in the HVAC systems, some claim that the older generation of air conditioners is more durable than the new generation. They may not be rich in fancy features like the newer ones, but they are generally more reliable in terms of longevity.

However, longevity is just one aspect of what you need to look for in an air conditioner. There are other important factors to consider, such as efficiency and capacity. In addition, repairing older units can be a headache, especially when looking for replacement parts.

Since they are older units and newer units are being promoted, getting your hands on older parts will be more difficult than it was.

Older units tend to be less energy-efficient than newer ones, which isn't ideal if you're trying to save money on monthly bills. Newer air conditioning units have upgraded parts that help them to perform at their peak performance. The trade-off is that these newer units are more expensive to buy.

In addition, older air conditioners are not environment-friendly. Their refrigerants emit more HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, a type of greenhouse gases. This means that these units are causing harm to the planet and contributing to global warming.

old models of air conditioner and pop corn box still in use at Lido cinema

Why Are Modern Air Conditioners More Efficient?

Newer air conditioners are more efficient compared to older ones. This is because of the high rate of innovation and increased complexity of refrigeration systems. The previous lines were much simpler and were designed to work in a very narrow range of operating conditions.

Newer systems are more complex and can work in a broader range of conditions. These units also use smaller motors, which allow them to run at lower speeds, thus an energy saver. Air conditioning units have their own SEER ratings, which is the benchmark for measuring efficiency.

Do Air Conditioning Units Become Less Efficient Over Time?

Air conditioner on white wall room interior

An AC unit wearing down over time is normal. As components age, performance dwindles, especially if there are broken parts and the unit isn't receiving regular maintenance. Some components may start to fail from age, while others can be damaged through regular use.

It pays to go with a trusted HVAC brand when choosing your AC. Do some research and look up reviews online regarding different brands. Joining HVAC forums is also one way of getting user reviews of particular brands. This way, you can get an honest evaluation from fellow users; that way, you know what you should avoid. 

In Closing

Air conditioner on wall

Knowing the lifespan of your air conditioner and how to make it last is essential. This prepares you for what to expect from your AC in the long run. Getting a professional HVAC technician to do the installation, maintenance, and repairs to your unit will also help in its longevity. 

Furthermore, we also covered in this article numerous information like choosing the right AC sizing, which will allow your unit to operate properly and in turn, help it last as long as possible. 

Have a look at these suggested additional readings after leaving your comments below. 

How Long Does A Carrier Air Conditioner Last?

How Long Does A Goodman Air Conditioner Last?

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One comment

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