With each passing year, air conditioning systems are getting better. All air conditioning systems begin to malfunction over time, and a time comes when replacing the unit becomes a better option than repairing. But how long does AC last? Well, it depends on a host of factors. And some signs indicate it’s time to replace your air conditioner. Read on to learn more.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of an Air Conditioner

When your HVAC system acts up, you have to figure out what is wrong with the unit. The overall lifespan of an air conditioner depends on a host of factors. Below are five of them:

Choosing a low-quality brand

The quality of AC units varies from brand to brand. In general, the lifespan of a high-quality brand is much longer than that of a low-quality brand. When it comes to buying an AC unit, do not look for the cheapest brand on the market. Invest in a unit manufactured by an industry-leading company.

Wrong size

If you feel uncomfortable in your home even after installing an AC, your AC is probably too large or small. If the unit is too large, it will meet the cooling demand too quickly and then short cycle. And if the unit is too small, it will fail to meet the cooling demand. In both cases, you will feel uncomfortable inside your home. The size of your unit also largely determines its lifespan.

poor hvac installationPoor installation

How long does AC last? To some extent, it depends on whether you took the installation process as a DIY project or hired a technician. Yes, your system’s lifespan also depends on the quality of installation. For instance, you must place the system in the right location and attach the components correctly. To ensure a proper installation, hire a skilled and licensed technician.

Constant operation

Constant operations harm the lifespan of an air conditioner. If the unit runs almost nonstop, it will have a shorter lifespan. If any part of the unit malfunctions, consider getting it repaired as quickly as possible.

Lack of maintenance

An AC unit’s longevity and performance greatly depend on its maintenance. Regular inspection is a part of maintenance. So, get your AC inspected regularly. Even if an obscure brand manufactures the unit, proper maintenance will give it a reasonably long lifespan.

Typical Lifespan of an Air Conditioning System

How long does AC last? If manufactured by a well-known brand and adequately maintained, it typically lasts 12 to 18 years.

That means, if you have recently installed an air conditioning system, you will not have to worry about upgrading the system for at least a decade. But if the unit is malfunctioning in any way, consider monitoring the system’s performance.

Later in the article, we will discuss the signs that your AC requires replacement.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Central Air Conditioner

By being careful about the maintenance of your central air conditioning system, you can significantly extend its lifespan. Below are some tips to keep in mind:

Give your AC a rest

If an air conditioner runs constantly, it tends to wear out pretty quickly. Before you leave your home, even for half an hour, turn the AC off. If you do not want to turn it off, there is an alternative. Consider keeping the unit on while turning the thermostat to 5 degrees.

Keeping the thermostat turned on at night is also a good idea. These techniques will not only save energy but also prolong the lifespan of your air conditioner.

smart thermostatsInstall a Smart Thermostat

Extend the life of your AC (and save money) by installing a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat allows you to set your home’s cooling and heating system to desired temperatures throughout the day and evening. In addition, a smart thermostat learns your temperature preferences. Subsequently, it automatically adjusts the temperature setting on your thermostat to meet your daily needs.

Clean the unit regularly

Regular cleaning, such as cleaning the filter, is an essential part of the maintenance of an air conditioner. Outdoor units are exposed to the elements and get dirty pretty quickly. To ensure the optimal functionality of your AC, clean the leaves, dust, and dirt regularly. If you keep the outdoor unit clean, you will not have to worry about mechanical breakdowns.

Ensure proper airflow

An air conditioner keeps your home cool by pumping cold air. Proper airflow is necessary for the smooth operation of an AC. If there are obstructions in the vents of your home, clear them. If the vents are unobstructed and open, the system will work smoothly.

Check for leaks

Leaks in the hose can lead to a host of technical problems, even a breakdown. So, inspect the unit regularly and check for leaks. Make it a part of regular maintenance to extend the lifespan of your air conditioner.

When Is it Time to Replace an AC?

How do you know that repairing is no longer an option, and you need to replace your AC? Well, you have to look for some signs. Here are some of those signs:

You have used the air conditioner for more than ten years

It takes us to the original question: how long does AC last? Now you know the answer. The typical lifespan of an air conditioner is 12-18 years. Suppose your AC has already served for more than a decade and undergone many repairs. In that case, you should probably consider replacing the unit with a new one.

Annoying sounds

During cycling, most air conditioners make sounds. However, if the sounds have turned into a squealing, grinding, and clunking noises, take them seriously. These sounds occur when there are issues with motors, fans, and blowers. If you have repaired these parts multiple times, it is probably time to replace the entire unit.

Too many repairs

Suppose you have contacted HVAC technicians too many times in recent years and spent thousands on repairs. In that case, you should consider replacing the unit. Initially, a total replacement will be costly. But in the long run, you will spend less because a new unit rarely requires any repairing.

How Long Does AC Last – Final Thoughts

Even the best models of air conditioning units require repairs, and at a point, frequent repairs become a nuisance. People dealing with this issue often ask: how long does AC last? We have answered this question from several points of view, and we hope now you have a better understanding of the lifespan of an AC.