How long does an AC unit last? Overall, experts claim that an AC unit lasts around 15 to 20 years on average. That number isn't as exact as we want, but considering AC lifespans can vary as much as human fingerprints, it's the best estimate we've got.
The truth is that, unless you are buddies with the AC unit Grim Reaper, you can't know your AC unit's exact death date. But you can predict the future much better than you think. You just need to know the details to pay attention to.
Read on to learn what those details are.
How Long Does an AC Unit Last With Us?
It's best to treat your HVAC unit like a houseplant, a very low-maintenance houseplant. You can leave it alone, like, 90% of the time, but it will still need attention occasionally.
You and/or an HVAC technician should perform the correct HVAC maintenance steps at regularly scheduled intervals. This should extend the lifespan of your AC unit. It won't make your unit last until the heat death of the universe, of course, but it can add some years to that lifespan.
Any homeowner, depending on their skill level, can perform regular maintenance steps to extend their unit's average lifespan, including:
Replace air filters
Clean off the outdoor unit
Keep items away from vents
Don't touch the complex stuff
HVAC technicians (and the lucky homeowners that happen to be HVAC techs) can do the following air conditioning system tasks to increase its lifespan:
Repair or replace AC unit parts
Clean condenser coils, condensate drains, etc.
Here comes the hard part, the perfect location for an AC unit does not exist. There will always be something wearing air conditioners down like a heat wave in the Southwest. You just have to find out what that something is and provide your unit with the equivalent of portable neck fan.
Here are some natural elements that can cause issues:
Plant debris (leaves, branches, etc.)
It's so easy to clean off dust, rocks, trash, and plant debris that you can probably do it in your sleep (note: we don't recommend that you do this). But heat, rain and wind are harder to protect against. But it is possible to protect your central air system against them.
Unfortunately, the very thing an AC unit will try to protect you against can wear its parts down over time. It will need to work harder to fend off extreme heat. The more it works, the faster the unit will wear down. Try to find other ways to support your AC during the heat: draw blinds closed in the afternoons, immerse yourself in a cold bath, perform a ritual to summon a winter spirit, etc.
Let's say your AC unit is rattling so loud that it's outperforming the roar of a jet engine. This is a great time to call for an HVAC tech to perform proper maintenance. If you are the type to ignore the issue because it doesn't seem all that big of a deal, your air conditioning unit efficiency level may plummet farther than a rock dropped into the Mariana Trench. There's no guarantee this will happen, of course, but why take the risk!
An issue like a slight rattling in your HVAC unit may seem like nothing, and if you’re lucky it may be just that. But like many small issues, if left alone, the issue can grow in magnitude sooner than you may think.
One broken part can cause another part to break, and then that part can cause another part to break. This results in you having to replace your air conditioner sooner than you would like.
However, there's no reason to feel worried. All you need to do when you notice an issue is call a local HVAC technician to help diagnose the problem.
If your AC is blowing warm air, leaking, or having other issues, calling an HVAC maintenance technician can help bring peace of mind, and prevent further issues. You need to take care of any sort of HVAC issues you notice as soon as possible.
Playing whack-a-mole with your air conditioner problems like this can prevent the need to replace an air conditioner for at least a decade, increasing its lifespan.
So how long do AC units last when you do nothing to keep them healthy? They don't last as long as you would like. But if you take the proper steps to maintain your unit, it should exceed the average lifespan. At Parker & Sons, we genuinely care about your needs. If you need someone for HVAC repair and/or maintenance we’re a one-stop shop for total home comfort solutions. Schedule an appointment to get started!