Want to know if it’s time to change your AC unit?
For many of us, having to replace an air conditioning unit can be a large investment. How long AC units last highly depends on how well is was installed and whether there was regular preventative maintenance. Another factor to consider is how often you use your air conditioner. Unfortunately, there will come a time when even the best maintained unit will need to be replaced.
So, how long DO AC units last?
According to air conditioning manufacturer, Frigidaire:
A properly maintained air conditioner can last between 14 and 16 years on average.”
Here are a few things that can affect the lifespan of a unit:
- Regular maintenance – Do you have an AC professional check and service your unit regularly? You can give your HVAC system a longer life by scheduling regular inspections and preventative maintenance. You wouldn’t run your car for years without routine services like oil changes and tune-ups. Unfortunately, that’s what many of us do with our AC units. Remember, you can avoid costly repairs by addressing small problems before they become expensive ones.
- Where you live – This can be a huge factor in how long AC units can last. If you live in hot or humid regions, your unit will have to do a lot more work than those in cooler areas. Sometime, people will run their air conditioner all day long, over-working the unit which can mean a shorter life. Try to cycle your air conditioning use and give your unit some rest when possible.
- Quality of your HVAC system – Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Quality AC units are made with durable parts which helps prolong your unit’s life. A low quality or poor efficiency HVAC system may not work properly and lead to an AC unit replacement much sooner than expected. Choose reputable manufacturers with strong warranties when possible.
- You’re AC unit’s history – Many people who buy a home don’t really think about how old the AC unit that came with the house may be. One thing to consider is, older systems are not as efficient as newer ones and many used refrigerants known to be harmful to the environment. Another point that’s overlooked is how often the unit used and whether it was regularly maintained. Getting a complete picture of the existing air conditioning system will give you a better understanding of how long that AC unit will last.
Should I replace my AC unit?
That really depends. If your unit has been around for awhile or if constant repair costs are adding up to more than your unit is worth, then it may be time to get a new one. In many cases, getting a new unit can be more cost effective in the long run. In addition, a new unit can:
- result in greater home comfort
- include indoor air quality features your old unit may not have had
- reduce your monthly utility bill as newer units are more energy efficient
- make less noise with noise reduction features
- most importantly, come with a long term warranty
Hopefully these helpful tips help you better understand how long AC units last and how you can make them last longer. Another great option is to have an HVAC professional evaluate your current unit.
So, how much will installing a new AC unit cost? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, buying a new air conditioning unit is no small investment. If you do need a new unit, we’ve included this helpful chart from HomeAdvisor with new AC unit installation costs based on national averages.
Let us know how long your AC unit has lasted in the comments below.