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How Long Should an Air Conditioner Last?

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning unit before summer sets in, you’ve probably been bombarded with a few questions in the process.

“How long should a standard central air conditioner last?” is a common question among most potential buyers. Most experts will give an estimate to this answer that is an average lifespan of between 10 to 15 years.

However, this is just a general answer, as many factors make an air conditioning unit durable.


Here are some various factors which can make your AC unit last up to 20 years.

The size of the unit

Experts recommend choosing the perfect size of an AC unit for your house. An undersized or oversized air conditioning unit reduces its efficiency significantly, forcing it to work more than it should. Oversized units may short cycle and fail to dehumidify your house.

Undersized units work too much to cool your home, causing them to wear out before they reach their expected lifespan. With the right size of unit for your home, your AC should last the anticipated lifespan of between 10 to 20 years.

Untimely repairs and maintenance practices

One of the best ways to ensure that your AC lives its expected lifespan is through regular, preventative maintenance and timely AC repair.

These services help to keep your air conditioning unit running smoothly and extend its life. If you overlook these services, you will find yourself frequently calling in an HVAC contractor to do repairs, spending a lot on these visits, and needing to replace the air conditioning unit sooner that you expected.

Quality of AC and installation services

You don’t have to put all your money into purchasing the most expensive air conditioning unit on the market. Quality doesn’t always mean it has to be costly.

It’s vital to take the time to research the ratings and reputation of a particular AC manufacturer and the AC model you want. Suitable air conditioning units should give satisfactory service for the intended 10 to 20 years.

On the other hand, your choice of HVAC contractor plays an instrumental role in determining the lifespan of your AC unit as well. Experts ensure a quality installation that maximizes energy efficiency so that your unit won’t wear out trying to cool your home.

These two factors go hand in hand if you want your AC to outlive its life expectancy.

Energy efficiency

Unknown to a majority of AC owners and potential buyers, the energy efficiency of an air conditioning system plays a significant role in determining how long your system will last. Older systems weren’t built to conserve energy and could be the reason why you are constantly complaining of increased energy bills.

If you invest in an inefficient system, over time these energy bills will take a toll on your finances, forcing you to look for other alternatives, like replacing the unit early.

Poor operating conditions

Where are you planning to place your air conditioning unit? The location of your unit plays an instrumental role in your system’s lifespan.

Extended exposure to harsh weather and debris leads to rapid wear and tear on the unit. Air conditioning units placed outside are vulnerable to clogs, which forces them to work harder to maintain cool temperatures in your home.

This increases the chances of damage and the likelihood that you will need AC repairs. If this occurs often, it shouldn’t be a surprise if your HVAC contractor says you need to replace your system just a few years into its service.

If you’ve been looking for air conditioning services that you can trust, Spartan Plumbing is here for you. Call us today to book an appointment and have a professional HVAC technician at your doorstep for all your AC needs.