The typical central air conditioner lasts between 12 to 15 years. However, if a central cooling unit is not adequately matched to your home’s “cooling load,” it may have a much shorter lifespan. In reality, there is no definitive answer as to how long you can expect your AC unit to hold up. Many elements factor into the overall life expectancy of central AC units. Learn more below about what impacts your central AC unit’s lifespan and signs that may indicate you need to repair or replace your AC.
Factors that Affect Central AC Life Expectancy
Several elements affect the overall life expectancy of individual central AC units. Some of the main factors that affect central AC life are:
Quality of the unit
• Work performed by technicians
• Personal comfort preferences and thermostat settings
• The climate you live in, especially if you’re in a high humidity area
• How well or poorly the system is maintained over time
Signs You Might Need to Repair or Replace Your AC Unit
While you can always take steps to increase your AC unit’s life, like scheduling regular repair and maintenance, nothing lasts forever sadly! At some point, you’ll have to replace your AC unit, or at the very least, repair it in some way. Here are some tell-tale signs that your AC unit may need to be repaired or replaced:
1. You’ve had your AC unit for more than a decade.
Even if you keep your AC unit well maintained, there is a good chance it will need to be replaced if it is over a decade old. While some units can last for 15 years, it is much more common to replace your unit after its first ten years. Regular maintenance and tune-ups help expand your AC’s life towards the 10-15 year mark though.
If a unit is not being adequately maintained, it likely won’t even make it to the ten-year benchmark. In addition, the filter on your central AC needs to be replaced or washed at least every three months. Failure to complete these basic maintenance tasks will lead to your AC breaking down within its first few years.
2. Your AC has had multiple motor or compressor breakdowns.
If you’ve already gone through many costly repairs with your central AC unit, it is likely time to get a new unit altogether. Your air conditioner unit can only go through so many motor or compressor breakdowns and repairs before it needs an entire replacement!
3. Your AC is making annoying or loud sounds.
A classic sign that your AC unit needs some serious repairs or maybe even a full replacement is ear-blasting noise. It’s normal for your unit to make sounds during cycling. However, if the sounds become more like clunking, grinding, or squealing, you may need to contact an HVAC specialist immediately.
4. You’ve had installation issues with the AC unit.
If your AC unit was installed without the assistance of an HVAC specialist, you might experience significant issues later on. Installation errors can lead to numerous safety hazards, which can include extreme risks, like fires or electrocution. Along with potential dangers that come with improper installation, air conditioners that are installed wrong have a significantly shorter lifespan.
5. The AC has required a number of pricey repairs.
The final sign that you are likely in need of a new central AC unit is if you’ve had to repeatedly contact an HVAC technician in recent years. These calls have likely led to pricey repairs over the last few years. While getting a new AC unit may cost more initially, you will ultimately save more in the long-run. If you’ve already had to pay for several repairs on your AC unit, it is a wise investment to purchase a new unit altogether!
Connect With the Pros
It can be frustrating dealing with AC problems, especially with the constant heat from the hot summer sun! If you’re in need of an air conditioner replacement, repair, or installment, connect with our expert technicians today. Our team is ready to help you with all your HVAC needs!
Schedule Your Service Call (720) 797-7080