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Most people think that purchasing an air conditioner will last them for years without any problems. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many don’t know how long does AC last. After all, it’s not something you think about until it breaks down on the hottest day of the year!

AC units require regular maintenance to keep them running at peak performance. In addition, how long your AC unit lasts depends on several factors, including the brand you choose and how often you have serviced. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how long ACs typically last and what you can do to extend the life of your unit.

How Long Do ACs Last?

An AC unit’s lifespan depends on several factors, including the unit type, the unit’s quality, how often it is used, and whether it receives regular maintenance. 

Central air units, usually found in homes with forced-air heating, typically last between 15 and 20 years. Window units, often used in smaller spaces or as supplemental cooling, typically last between 10 and 12 years. 

Of course, these are just averages. Some AC units may need to be replaced sooner due to poor quality or lack of maintenance. Conversely, well-made units receiving regular tune-ups could last even longer than the average lifespan.

Factors that Impact AC Lifespan

In addition to the type of AC unit, many other factors can impact how long your unit will last.

Low-Quality Brand: Not all AC brands are created equal. Some brands use lower-quality materials and components, which can result in a shorter lifespan for the unit. 

Improper Installation: If your AC unit is not installed correctly, it could lead to several issues, including reduced efficiency and shortened lifespan. Make sure that a qualified HVAC technician installs your unit.

Lack of Maintenance: As with any mechanical device, regular maintenance is essential to keeping your AC unit running properly. Dust and dirt can build up over time, causing the unit to work harder and reduce efficiency. In addition, worn-out parts can cause significant problems and may even lead to a complete breakdown. Schedule regular tune-ups for your AC unit to keep it running smoothly.

Wrong size: If your AC unit is too small or too large for the space it is cooling, it will have to work harder than necessary, reducing its lifespan. Make sure you choose an AC unit that is appropriately sized for the space you want to cool.

How to Extend the Life of Your AC Unit

No one wants to deal with a malfunctioning AC, especially in the middle of a heatwave. The good news is that there are several things you can do to extend the lifespan of your AC unit and avoid an unexpected breakdown.

Regular Maintenance

One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of your AC unit is to make sure a qualified HVAC technician regularly services it. Like your car, your AC unit needs regular tune-ups to keep it running correctly. A technician will clean the coils and filters, check for leaks, and make sure all the parts are in good working order. You should have your AC unit serviced at least once a year, preferably before the start of summer when you’ll be using it most.

Proper Sizing

Another factor that can impact AC lifespan is proper sizing. Many homeowners make the mistake of installing an AC unit that’s too small or too large for their home. An undersized unit will have to work overtime to cool your home, which will shorten its lifespan. An oversized unit will cool your home too quickly and turn off before it has a chance to remove all the moisture from the air, which can lead to mould and mildew growth. Consult with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure your AC unit is properly sized for your home.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

You can also help extend the lifespan of your AC unit by using a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will allow you to set different temperatures for different times of day, so your AC unit won’t have to work as hard (and run as long) to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. You can program your thermostat to raise the temperature when you’re away at work or asleep so that your AC unit doesn’t have to run as much, saving wear and tear on the unit and helping it last longer.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Finally, upgrading your insulation is another way to help extend the lifespan of your AC unit. Cool air will escape through cracks and gaps in the walls and ceilings if your home has poor insulation, causing your AC unit to work harder than necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. By upgrading your insulation, you can help prevent cool air from escaping, which means your AC unit won’t have to run as often (or as long), saving wear and tear on the unit and helping it last longer.


An air conditioner is a significant investment, so you want it to last as long as possible. Most AC units will last between 15 and 20 years with proper care and maintenance. To get the most out of your investment, be sure to have your unit serviced by a professional at least once a year and change your air filter regularly. These simple steps can help ensure that your AC unit provides cool comfort for many years.

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