How Many Years Should an AC Unit Last?

How long do AC units last?

If you ask this question of customers, manufacturers and contractors, you might get very different answers. In reality, many factors can impact the lifespan of an AC system, including:

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  • How many hours the unit is used
  • Whether proper maintenance is provided
  • Whether the AC unit has been exposed to corrosive materials
  • Whether the unit has been retrofitted or serviced
  • The quality of the system
  • The types of weather outdoor components face

In general, the average lifespan of an AC unit is 10 to 20 years. However, in a hot location near the beach, where salt air and thousands of hours of use impact the system, the average lifespan may be far lower.

Should You Replace Your AC Unit?

Now that you know more about the average lifespan of a home AC unit, when should you replace yours? If your unit is already 10 years old, you may wonder whether that means its days are numbered. The answer will depend in part on whether your AC unit is essential. If you live with someone who has respiratory issues and having a hot home for even a day or two could be dangerous, you may need to replace your system before it breaks down.

Your preferences and budget may also impact your plans. If you are very uncomfortable without the air conditioner, you may prioritize replacing it as soon as it no longer performs at its peak. You may want to find a system that’s more efficient and lessens your carbon footprint. Or perhaps you’d rather wait until you’ve saved enough to buy your new system.

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Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your AC Unit

Whether your AC system has been around for less time than the average lifespan for an air conditioner or it’s been hanging on for well over two decades, you’ll want to watch out for some signs that it’s time to start thinking of a replacement:

  • Your utility bills are high: If your utility bills suddenly jump up when you use your AC system, your system may not be working correctly. Even if that’s not the case, you may want to upgrade your system to one that’s more efficient and saves you money in the long run.
  • Your system keeps breaking down: If you need to keep calling for service, the bills will add up. It may make more sense to replace the unit rather than having it regularly fixed. If you need repairs often, your AC system may be nearing the end of its life, at which point more components will start to break down.
  • You can’t stay comfortable at home: If you turn on your AC and cool air doesn’t emerge within a minute or two, the unit may be clogged or have another issue. If you find yourself trying to stay cool by running your AC while you also run a fan, cool down with ice or take similar steps, your air conditioner is just not working the way it should. A new system will keep your home at the right temperature without you putting in so much effort.
  • Your AC unit is affecting your quality of life: If you’re overheating or having trouble with moisture in the home because of your AC unit, it’s a problem. Maybe you’re spending too much on utility bills or feel frustrated by the noise your system makes. Parts of your system may literally be falling off. If your air conditioner is calling attention to itself by annoying you or failing to do its job, it may be time for an upgrade.

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Do You Need to Replace Your AC System?

While the average life expectancy of an AC unit can be up to 20 years in ideal circumstances, everyone’s situation is different. If you find yourself noticing problems with your air conditioner, contact Home Climates.

Home Climates is the leader in air conditioning systems in central Pennsylvania, and we can start by determining whether your current system is fixable. Our professional technicians will review the condition of your AC system and offer honest recommendations.

If you want a new system, you’ll be happy to know that we offer installation services for HVAC and AC systems. These services are the best in Pennsylvania, and our installations come with a five-year labor and 10-year parts warranty for your peace of mind. We have a number of efficient and green options for different budgets and can help you find the right air conditioning system to keep your home comfortable. Reach out to us now to schedule an appointment.

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