How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

how long do air conditioners last

One of the most critical questions homeowners should ask HVAC manufacturers is ‘how long do air conditioners last?’ Air conditioners ensure the rooms are cool by removing heat and humidity in the indoor air.

Although homeowners choose the best air conditioners to avoid replacements, these units don’t last forever. Averagely, an AC lasts between 12 to 17 years. However, different factors can cause the machine’s breakdown before its expiry date.

Factors Affecting How Long Air Conditioners Last

Whether your machine will last 5, 10, or 17 years depends on some factors. Some ACs don’t live to see their expiry date because of mishandling, the local climate, and other contaminants. The other factors affecting the longevity of the AC are;

     1. The Climate

Your area’s climate will determine how hard the air conditioner works. The unit cools the indoor air to ensure comfort. Therefore, if the temperatures are too high, the system has to work extra hard all day to maintain cool temperatures in the rooms.

Working hard on the air conditioner weakens its mechanical parts faster. As a result, they could break and require replacement. In addition, the system could wear more and break down entirely if the hot season is long.

     2. Installation Of The Outdoor Unit

ACs outdoor unit is usually in the open. As a result, the machine gets exposed to acid rain, crawling animals, and other contaminants. While the pollutants affect air quality, they can also lead to a breakdown of the unit.

For example, acid rain corrodes the AC’s mechanical parts and damages the condenser coil. Dogs could also pee on the machine, and since their urine is acidic, it causes corrosion of the parts.

     3. Size Of The Unit

When questioning “How long should ACs last?” ask the manufacturer for the best AC for your house. It won’t work effectively if you buy a small unit to cool a big home. Overworking the AC could lead to breakdowns and other AC problems.

Other things to consider when choosing the size of an AC are the size of your household, the number of rooms, and the climate. For example, if your area’s weather is primarily hot, you need a bigger unit. Also, remember that an oversized or undersized unit won’t function correctly.

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Air conditioners have different lifespans, depending on the unit’s brand, size, and type. However, how you maintain your unit could increase or lower its lifespan.

Some ways to ensure your AC lasts longer are;

     1. Correct Installation

Some homeowners will read and watch videos on AC installation to fix the unit themselves after purchasing. Unfortunately, incorrect installation of the AC can impact how long it lives.

Unless you are a qualified AC installer, always call an expert to fix the new unit. They charge a fee but will ensure the AC is safe and functioning correctly.

     2. Inspect The Outdoor Unit

The AC’s outdoor unit does most of the work and exposes many harmful elements. Dirt, debris, and stones blown by the wind could settle in the unit, making it less effective. These foreign elements in your machine could cause parts breakdowns like the fans and damage the pipes causing leakage.

To ensure your system lasts for over 20 years, schedule inspections monthly. You should clean the vents to ensure proper functioning. Also, check for damages on the pipes and the other parts.

     3. Replace The Air Filters

The air filters trap dust in the air to ensure your family breathes clean air. If left uncleaned for a long time, they can start obstructing the proper function of the unit, reducing its efficiency. Cleaning air filters is easy, and you can do it yourself. Some filters require monthly replacement, so don’t let them overstay.

     4. Get Proper Insulation

How long should air conditioners last? Your home’s insulation plays a significant role in determining how long the AC lasts. When you have poor insulation, the conditioned air will keep escaping, forcing the air conditioner to cycle repeatedly.

You can upgrade your insulation by installing new windows and doors. Another perfect way to increase insulation is getting attic insulation. These purchases initially seem expensive, but they protect your unit from damage.

Signs To Replace The Air Conditioner

Failure to take good care of your air conditioner can lead to fast damage before the end of 17 years. Luckily, the air conditioner shows some signs it is wearing out. Call your AC expert or replace the unit if you notice these signs.

     1. The AC Needs Constant Maintenance

When the AC is old or has a problem, it could cost you a lot of money for repairs. In addition, the unit breaks down frequently, requiring you to hire professionals to inspect it. Finally, any breakdowns could inconvenience you with zero functionality on hot days, especially during summer.

Repairing the AC unit is often expensive, but most homeowners choose to do it. They do so to avoid spending a lump sum to buy a new unit. However, if you are constantly repairing your AC, it is time to purchase another one.

     2. High Energy Bills

Did you pay higher energy bills than last month’s? The problem could be your air conditioner. Old and malfunctioning ACs can tend to use a lot of energy because of wear and tear, leading to high energy bills.

Besides increasing your energy cost, continued operations might also cause mechanical damage to your AC in the long term. Therefore, if your energy bills are skyrocketing, it is probably a good time to replace your AC.

     3. The Unit Is Older Than Ten Years

How long do air conditioner units last? Most manufacturers claim ACs last for over 15 years but could start wearing down slowly. Ten years after buying it, you could notice minor problems like blowing hot air into the rooms or frequent repairs.

Failure to take great care of your AC could also lead to early aging. If you are experiencing breakdowns and too much humidity in your house and are using an air conditioner older than ten years, consider replacing it.

     4. Loud Noise In The System

Another common sign you should replace your AC is loud noise. The grinding or scraping noise is mainly due to aging or broken parts in the unit. Call your AC expert immediately to check the problem and get advice.

Final Words

How long do air conditioners last? The longevity of air conditioners depends on the manufacturer, type, and size. While most ACs last between 12 to17 years, they could last longer or for a shorter time, depending on how well you maintain them. The good news is that Hurliman offers reliable HVAC maintenance and tune-up services.