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How Long Does an AC Unit Last?

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How Long Does an AC Unit Last?

Air conditioning systems are an essential part of nearly every household these days. They keep us comfortable, help us sleep, provide us with clean air, and overall make life much more enjoyable.

Although AC systems are a wonderful thing to have, they aren’t cheap! So naturally, you want your equipment to last a long time with as few malfunctions as possible. That doesn’t sound too difficult, right?

Well, you may be surprised to find that air conditioner life spans can vary by quite a lot due to circumstances and care.

In this article, we will be discussing the average life span for an air conditioner as well as the most effective ways to get every last dollar’s worth out of your cooling system.

Have a question about one of our services? Contact Cruz Air & Electric Today!

How Long Air Conditioners Last on Average


The average lifespan of an AC unit typically ranges from 15 to 20 years

However, it is also important to understand the many variables that factor into the lifespan of an air conditioning system; not all units live up to their full potential. Factors such as the quality of the unit, regular maintenance, usage patterns, and environmental conditions can influence how long your AC unit will last:

  • Quality: The quality of the air conditioner plays a crucial role in determining its lifespan. Units from reputable brands with higher build quality and better components often last longer. Investing in a high-quality unit might come with a higher upfront cost, but it can pay off in the long run.
  • Maintenance: Regular HVAC maintenance is key to extending the life of your system. Neglecting routine maintenance tasks can lead to decreased efficiency and premature failure. It is recommended to have your AC unit serviced by a professional at least once a year. During these maintenance visits, the technician will inspect and clean the components, replace filters, check refrigerant levels, and address any issues that may affect the performance and lifespan of your unit.
  • Usage Patterns: The frequency and intensity of usage also impact the lifespan of your AC unit. Units that run constantly or in extreme temperatures are subjected to more wear and tear. To reduce strain on the unit, it is advisable to use energy-saving features like programmable thermostats and set moderate temperatures. This not only helps prolong the life of the unit but also saves energy and lowers your utility bills.
  • Environmental Conditions: The environment in which your AC unit operates can affect its lifespan. If you live in an area with high humidity or salty air, such as coastal regions, your unit may experience accelerated corrosion and deterioration. Extreme weather conditions like thunderstorms or hailstorms can also damage the external components of the unit. Taking steps to protect your AC unit from harsh weather conditions can help prolong its life in such situations.
  • Expert Installation: Proper AC installation plays a crucial role in determining the lifespan of your AC unit. A correctly installed air conditioning system ensures that all components are properly connected and functioning as intended. Improper installation, on the other hand, can lead to a range of issues such as inadequate airflow, refrigerant leaks, electrical problems, and reduced overall performance. These issues not only affect the efficiency of the unit but also put additional strain on its components, potentially shortening its lifespan. By investing in expert AC installation services and ensuring that your AC unit is installed correctly from the beginning, you can help maximize its lifespan and enjoy optimal cooling performance for years to come.

Tips For Prolonging the Life of Your HVAC System:

  • Regular Maintenance: As mentioned earlier, regular maintenance is crucial for extending the life of your HVAC system. Schedule annual maintenance visits with a professional technician to ensure your unit is running optimally. They can identify and address any potential issues before they escalate.
  • Clean and Replace Filters: Clean or replace your air filters regularly to maintain proper airflow and prevent dust and debris from clogging the system. Clogged filters can strain the unit, leading to decreased efficiency and potential damage.
  • Keep the Surrounding Area Clean: Ensure that the area around the outdoor unit is free from debris, vegetation, and obstructions. Cleaning your outdoor air conditioning unit allows proper airflow and prevents the unit from overworking.
  • Monitor and Control Humidity: High humidity can put additional stress on your AC unit. Use dehumidifiers to control indoor humidity levels and reduce the workload on your air conditioner.
  • Proper Usage: Use your AC unit wisely to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. Avoid setting extremely low temperatures and keep doors and windows closed when the AC is running to maintain a consistent cooling environment.

When to Replace Your AC Unit

There comes a time when even the most well-maintained AC units reach the end of their lifespan. Here are some signs that indicate it may be time to consider AC replacement:

  • Frequent Repairs: If your AC unit requires frequent AC repair services and the cost of AC repairs starts to approach or exceed the cost of a new unit, it is often more cost-effective to invest in a replacement.
  • Decreased Efficiency: As your air conditioner ages, its efficiency starts to decline. You may notice increased energy consumption, higher utility bills, and reduced cooling performance. If your unit is struggling to keep up with your cooling needs, it may be time for an upgrade.
  • Excessive Noise: Unusual noises such as grinding, squealing, or rattling can indicate underlying mechanical issues. If your AC unit is making excessive noise, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional. In some cases, a replacement may be necessary.
  • Age: If your AC unit is approaching or has exceeded the average lifespan, it is worth considering a replacement. Newer models are often more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and equipped with advanced features.

How can I maintain peak air conditioning performance?

The best way to ensure that you get the absolute most out of your air conditioner is to always hire professionals and keep up with proper HVAC maintenance.

If you need a reliable air conditioning installation service, give Cruz Air & Electric a call today at 281-446-4272!

All of our HVAC technicians are highly trained and licensed to get the job done right. With 40+ years of expert AC service experience, we guarantee proper air conditioning installation and dependable maintenance designed to make your unit last. If you want an AC system that exceeds all of your expectations and continues to provide you with comfort for years to come, call Cruz!

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