How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Outdoor air conditioning unit in Austin, TX

Have you ever asked yourself the question “how long do air conditioners last?” Our air conditioning systems are a major source of comfort during the summer months. Whether you’ve spent the day outdoors or have just returned home from a long day at work, you can always count on your air conditioner to keep you cool. The alternative — sweating indoors while sweltering temperatures rage outside — seems almost unimaginable.

Of course, the unimaginable can happen. Our air conditioners can break down, which usually leaves us to choose between one of two options: repair or replacement. If you want to find the most appropriate solution for your needs, it’s important to know the life expectancy of your cooling system. But how long do air conditioners last on average? Here is everything you need to know.

The Average Lifespan of AC Units

Central air conditioners typically last between 15 to 20 years. However, it’s worth mentioning that every system is unique and will have a different life expectancy. Many factors can also influence the average lifespan of A/C units — some that you can personally control and others that you can’t.

Regular Maintenance

HVAC systems have a difficult job; they are largely responsible for keeping our households comfortable throughout the course of the year. If you want to ensure that your air conditioner is working properly — and will continue to last for many years to come — you will need to schedule routine maintenance.

By scheduling an air conditioner maintenance service once a year, you can extend the life of your cooling system, improve your home’s air quality, and avoid costly repairs. You can typically count on an HVAC technician to replace the air filter, clean critical parts, and perform various tests during one of these services.

How long do air conditioners last with maintenance? While there is no set timeline, a well-maintained system has the potential to last beyond the average lifespan of AC units.

Climate Conditions

The specific climate where you live can play a significant role in your cooling system’s life expectancy. Like most things in life, your air conditioner is susceptible to wear and tear. The more you use your air conditioner, the more likely it is to break down quicker. Additionally, extreme outdoor conditions — such as severe heat, high humidity, and intense winds — can cause extensive and irreparable damage to your outdoor unit.

So, how long do air conditioners last in warmer climates? Depending on how often you use your unit, you can typically expect it to last between 10 and 15 years.

Top 3 Signs It’s Finally Time To Replace Your Air Conditioner

Although age is important, there are other factors you should consider when it comes to repairing or replacing your air conditioner. Keeping the average lifespan of A/C units in mind, let’s discuss other signs that it’s time for a replacement.

Poor Cooling Capacity

Is your air conditioner keeping you cool — but just barely? Although you may want to prolong the life of your cooling system, you shouldn’t have to suffer through a hot summer.

In some instances, an air conditioner repair company can fix this issue. However, if your system appears to be nearing the end of its lifespan, it might be more beneficial to schedule a replacement than a repair.

Needing Frequent Repairs

It’s normal for HVAC units to need repairs from time to time. However, as your air conditioner gets older, it may start needing more and more frequent repairs. These services can get expensive — especially if you’re scheduling them on a regular basis. In the end, it might be more practical and cost-effective to simply replace your existing system.

Skyrocketing Energy Bills

Did the cost of your energy bill make you do a double-take? Your old air conditioning system could be to blame. As your cooling system gets older, it’ll have to work twice as hard to provide you with cool air. As a result, you may find yourself staring at higher energy bills.

2 Radiant technicians unloading an AC unit for HVAC replacement in Austin, TX

Beat the Heat in Central Texas With an Air Conditioner Replacement

There’s never been a better time to replace your air conditioning system than right now. From January 1, 2023 new Department of Energy regulations will take effect. Come next year, the price of a base HVAC model will increase by $1,000 – $2,000. If you suspect your home is due for a replacement, now is the time to do it.

“How long do air conditioners last?” If you ask a dozen people this question, they will probably provide you with a dozen different answers. Although the average lifespan of A/C units is around 15 to 20 years, a wide range of factors can affect this.

Whether it’s time to repair or replace the air conditioner in your home, it’s important to work with a company that puts your comfort first. Radiant is the first choice of many Austin-based homeowners when it comes to reliable A/C services. We’re proud to specialize in heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and beyond — so you can trust us to have your needs covered.

Radiant is Austin and San Antonio’s #1 in A/C service. Ever since our founding in 1999, we have been dedicated to providing 5-star service to our local communities. As a Texas resident, you know you need your A/C system to work properly year round. Contact us for an energy-efficient air conditioner replacement in homes across Central Texas! An expert Radiant technician is ready to be dispatched to your home at a moment’s notice.

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