How Long Does an AC Unit Last?

3 ac units

Your air conditioner is a critical component of having a great summer. While basking in the sun can be enjoyable, having a quality air conditioner to return to can ensure that you relax in comfort. Understanding how long air conditioners last prepares you to keep a system that works to cool down your home.

The Manufacturer’s Life Expectancy

Each air conditioner manufacturer will have a set life expectancy for their products. For centralized home air conditioning units, you can expect them to last around 10 to 15 years. After this point, you’ll likely need to replace the a/c unit. You can extend the lifetime of an air conditioning unit with proper care. With most air conditioning units, you can increase their life expectancy to about 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

How To Properly Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit

As you learned above, maintaining your air conditioning unit can make all the difference in how long your system lasts. It’s a great idea to understand the components of air conditioning maintenance to ensure that you perform them all or have a professional do so. Below, we’re going to take a look at the vital components of any good maintenance plan.

Yearly Air Conditioner Tune-Up

One of the best ways to prevent needing a cooling system replacement is to get a yearly tune-up for your air conditioner. While each HVAC company may add its unique touches to the list of services a tune-up includes, you can expect all of them to contain the following:

  • Flushing Drain Lines
  • Cleaning Condenser Coils
  • Replacing Faulty Electrical Components
  • Topping Off The Freon (Refrigerant)
  • Replacing The Air Filters

Change Air Filters Regularly

Each air conditioning unit is unique with the frequency of air filter changes it will need. It’s beneficial to talk with your a/c installation expert to determine how often you should clean and change your air filters. You can also find this information in the manual for your home air conditioning system. Some systems require a cleaning every month, but others may last for three months between cleanings.

Cleaning The Outside Condenser Unit

Part of your residential cleaning system includes an outside condenser unit. You’ll need to ensure regularly that this unit is free of dirt and debris build-up. Leaves and bugs tend to be the most common offenders when it comes to these outdoor condenser units. You should check every few weeks that your AC unit is free from this outside debris so your air conditioning system can work effectively.

Your Outside Environment Will Play A Role

The manufacturer can recommend general lifespans for their units; however, it’s important to realize they’re just estimating. The environment the system is in will highly alter its ultimate lifespan. Let’s look at an extreme example.

Let’s say you have a unit in your home in Arizona. It’s hot all year round. Meaning you’ll be running your AC throughout the entire year. Compare this to an air conditioning unit in a home in Pennsylvania where the unit gets run solely through the summer season. There’s a big difference in the amount of wear and tear between these units. This is why the environment that the air conditioning unit will work in plays a major role in how long the unit lasts.

Understanding the lifespan of your air conditioning unit helps you plan for future replacements. Part of the lifespan of your system will highly depend on how well you take care of it. As you learned above, there are plenty of maintenance steps you can do regularly to help keep your unit working effectively for longer.