How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

While most parts are not visible, central HVAC systems may be the most vital component of modern homes. This is especially so in humid climes where extreme heat and excess moisture combined make summers completely miserable.

Amid such harsh conditions that pose serious health risks of dehydration and sudden stroke, A/C breakdown can literally be fatal. As such, routine maintenance is highly advised.

However, a question that will always arise is, “How long do air conditioners last?”

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Like all mechanical devices, the answer depends on many factors that vary widely. Some air conditioning units are designed to last several decades, while others are made for a maximum five-year term of service.

Occasionally, long central air conditioner life is a simply a matter of fate. Far more often, however, it is the result of a calculated decision based on prior research. The two primary factors that determine productive lifespan of air conditioners are construction materials and proper cooling capacity.

Quite obviously, a well-maintained unit will last much longer than an identical model that is badly neglected by a total lack of routine maintenance. Also, insufficient capacity for total cooled square footage of cooled space causes premature failure from excessive wear and tear.

Given the above variables, a good rule of thumb to go by is a 15-year life expectancy for central AC systems. A common problem for many people is unknown age of existing air cooling units.

Signs That You Might Need a New Air Conditioner

Below are major symptoms of current or imminent HVAC system replacement:

1. A system that was installed 10 or more years ago

As the average serviceable length of central air conditioner is about 15 years, major problems typically begin to develop after a decade. This scenario frequently occurs when homeowners bought current their residence fewer than 10 years earlier. But vigilant watch for warning signs of central AC failure is particularly important for those who know for certain that their systems have been installed longer than 10 years.

2. Excessive noise or odd sounds during AC operation

If you suddenly notice strange sounds or excessively loud noise while your central air conditioner is running, seek expert assistance immediately. Do not procrastinate, as such signs are nearly certain to indicate serious problems that will quickly worsen.

3. Strange odor emissions from the central HVAC unit

This is another major alert that must be heeded, as it most likely means some type of electrical malfunction. Again, this matter requires prompt professional intervention to prevent permanent breakdown or even a fire.

4. Exorbitant utility bills

Abnormally high energy consumption is a telltale sign that your central HVAC system is about to breakdown. If electric bills suddenly skyrocket during the summertime, it most likely reveals diminished cooling efficiency.

Why New Is Better

A popular but misguided belief is that it is best to keep running an outdated central air conditioning system until it shuts down instead of replacing it. Prompt installation of an upgrade is a far better option, however. Here are just a handful of reasons to replace a dying unit that’s older than a decade:

  • More Energy Efficient
  • Dependable Service During Hot Summer Days
  • Considerably Lower Energy Costs
  • Government-Subsidized Rebates for Eligible HVAC Systems

Considering so many great advantages that modern energy efficient central air cooling and heating systems afford, they can repay multiples of initial price and installation costs.

Contact a reputable HVAC professional contractor today to learn more about the probable remaining lifespan of your current central air conditioning system. You might be amazed at how much more fiscal and physical comfort can be yours at a far lower cost than you ever thought possible!

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