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How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Everything on our planet has a lifespan. From human beings to laptops and printers to cars.

An air conditioner is no different. While technology is constantly evolving and pushing the average time an air conditioner performs at the fullest potential, it’s still clear that it won’t last forever.

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll likely see a day when you need to replace your air conditioner altogether. That said, there are things you can do for air conditioning maintenance to get the most out of your air conditioner.

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last? The Lifespan of an Air Conditioner

The truth is there’s no one answer to this question. There are many variables that have an impact on how long your air conditioner will last, with usage being at the top of the list. If you hardly use your air conditioner, it’s likely to last a lot longer than one that’s being used every day. Where you live will impact how often you use your air conditioner because different temperatures require different levels of use.

On top of this is air conditioning maintenance. A well-maintained air conditioner will last longer than one that’s neglected for years. Fatigue can set in, shortening its lifespan.

Variables aside, if the air conditioner is well made and maintained properly, it can last between 12 to 17 years. However, for it to last this long, it requires some maintenance work from you to help it remain in tip-top condition.

How to Elongate the Lifespan of Your Air Conditioner

As we said, an air conditioner’s lifespan is heavily reliant on the quality of the system itself, as well as the air conditioning maintenance efforts put in by its owners. If you want to make your air conditioning machine last longer, follow these tips:

Schedule Two Tune-Ups Per Year

Having a broken air conditioner on a blazing summer’s day is less than ideal, but we shouldn’t only act in emergencies. Rather, we should act preventatively and schedule two tune-ups per year. Regular tune-ups can also reduce your heating and cooling costs, allow for inexpensive repairs, and, most importantly, add significant years to your air conditioner’s life.

Let Your Air Conditioner Rest

It’s obvious but it shouldn’t be overlooked. The more you use your air conditioner, the quicker it’ll get run down with system fatigue. Make sure you turn the air conditioner off if you’re leaving home for any length of time. Switch the thermostat to a minimum of 5 degrees to allow your unit to remain on, but not actively cool the internal air.

Also, turning up your thermostat at night helps to extend the life of your air conditioner by ensuring it’s not running constantly.

Regularly Check and Change the Air Filter

Keeping the same air filter creates clogs and shortens your air conditioner’s lifespan. You’ll need to regularly check and change your air conditioner’s filters. Not only does this extend the life of your system, but it also improves efficiency and reduces your energy costs. Take a look and replace the filter every 30-60 days.

Landscape Around Your Condenser

Providing shade for your air conditioner’s condensing unit is great for energy savings. That said, don’t plant anything too close or on top of it. Plants can grow into it, decreasing its efficiency and reducing its lifespan. So, landscape around your condenser, paying attention to shade creation and keeping it out of direct sunlight.

Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Even if you keep up with regular air conditioner maintenance and you follow our tips above, air conditioners don’t last forever. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your air conditioner? Here are some telltale signs that it’s time to install a new air conditioning system.

Your Energy Bills Are Sky High

Even if your air conditioner appears to be working normally, you can spot a problem by looking at your energy bills. If it’s increased dramatically and you aren’t sure why, it’s likely due to the system overworking. Before replacing it, make sure you clean the air vents, replace the filters one last time, and check for any knots in the condensing coil. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to get a new air conditioner.

Frequent Repairs

An air conditioner that demands frequent (and expensive) repairs is more trouble than it’s worth, and it’s a clear signal that the system is on its way out. If you’ve stuck to the guidance above and your air conditioner is still breaking down regularly, it’s likely time to replace it.

Your Home Is Too Humid

One of the main benefits of an air conditioner is the removal of humidity from your home. If your AC has a broken fan or condenser unit, you’ll feel an extreme increase in humidity levels inside your property. You’ll spot condensation on your windows and sometimes a hotter house than outdoor space. If this is happening, it’s time to get a new air conditioner.

Your AC Unit Still Uses R-22 Freon

If your air conditioning unit is more than 10 years old, it’s likely still using R22 as its Freon. It’s important to know that R22 Freon is banned in the United States due to its horrendous impact on the ozone layer. R22 leaks can damage the environment dramatically and are highly toxic.

You can check whether your air conditioner is using R-22 Freon by looking at the operation manual, the equipment nameplate, or by calling a professional for an inspection. If your air conditioner is using R-22 Freon, you’re required to remove it and get a new one.

For more questions about your air conditioner and its health, contact a member of our friendly team here at Adeedo.

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