How Long Do AC Units Last

You may be wondering – how long do ac units last? Air conditioners are an integral part of our homes. They protect us from heat and humidity, improve air quality, and provide a comfortable environment for everyone in the home to enjoy. But how long do air conditioners last and how can we maximize their life span? Several factors can affect the life of the AC unit, including the initial installation, type and quality of the AC unit, maintenance needs, and environmental conditions. Let’s explore how long air conditioners last and how you can maximize their life span before calling a Las Vegas AC repair company.

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Factors Affecting Air Conditioner Lifespan

There is no expiration date for an air conditioning unit, so predicting its lifespan can be challenging. Here are some of the factors that can influence the life of AC units

Proper Maintenance

One of the most important factors in the AC’s longevity is regular maintenance. Air conditioners require periodic servicing and cleaning, refrigerant checks, and filter replacement to prevent premature wear and tear and poor air quality. If any issues require a repair or part replacement service, then there should be no delay in getting maintenance. 

Some AC manufacturers provide a maintenance schedule for their air conditioners. If you can’t find the maintenance schedule, you can consult with an experienced HVAC technician to guide you on what service your AC unit needs. 


The usage of the air conditioner can also impact its lifespan. This is not to suggest that you don’t use the air conditioner, but consider setting the thermostat to a slightly higher temperature. This will help lower the burden on the air conditioner. The lower the difference between the thermostat setting and the outside temperature, the less work to do for the AC. 

Installation Quality 

The initial installation quality is also another key factor for the longevity of the air conditioner system. A poorly installed AC can lead to issues with refrigerant leaks, inadequate airflow, overheating of AC components, and other issues. A skilled and experienced HVAC technician can ensure there are no such issues by installing the AC according to factory specifications and local building codes.

Environmental Conditions 

While we can’t do much about our environmental conditions, it does play a vital role in the life of the AC unit. Regions with extreme temperatures, pollution, or humidity can reduce the lifespan of the air conditioner. For example, prolonged exposure to high humidity can promote the growth of mold or mildew on the AC components. 

If you live in a coastal region, your AC could suffer from some unique challenges such as salt exposure and corrosion. You can minimize environmental damage by having a more frequent AC inspection service. In some cases, coastal windows can carry abrasive parts that cause cosmetic damage and can get absorbed into the AC unit causing damage to its components. 

Age of the System 

Air conditioners are not meant to last forever. Even with the best quality installation and regular maintenance, the AC units will eventually need a replacement. If your system is working, it might not offer the same performance or energy efficiency as you would expect them to. Any AC that is more than 10 years old should be inspected regularly to determine if replacement is needed. 

Average Lifespan Of Air Conditioning System

On average, you can expect an AC unit to last 10 to 15 years under normal conditions. If you keep up with maintenance and the environmental conditions are ideal, then the AC can even last 20 years. 

A central air conditioner tends to last the longest, while a portable or window AC unit typically lasts slightly less. The ductless mini-split air conditioners have similar longevity to a central air system. 

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Signs of Aging AC Unit

When an AC unit starts to get old it can no longer provide the reliability, performance, or efficiency it used to. Generally, the first sign of an aging AC unit is reduced cooling performance either by taking longer to reach the desired room temperature or simply not blowing enough cold air to reach the thermostat temperature. 

In some cases, aging AC units continue to deliver good cooling performance but lack energy efficiency. If you see your energy bill spike for no apparent reason, it could be the aging AC that needs replacement. 

Another sign of an AC that should be replaced is when it requires frequent repair services. It’s a common mistake to underestimate the total cost of repairs compared to buying a new AC unit. You can consult with an HVAC technician to determine if replacement is a more cost-effective option. 

Other indicators of a faulty AC unit are unusual or strange noises such as buzzing or rattling sounds. There could be different reasons for such sounds, but a properly functioning AC unit should not have any unusual sounds. 

Enhancing the Life of Air Conditioners

If you are buying a new unit, opt for a high-quality unit from a reputed HVAC system manufacturer. For existing AC units, you can improve the life of the air conditioner by getting professional installation services. This will ensure the AC is installed according to its manufacturer’s specifications. You can also boost its life by getting routine maintenance service from a reputed AC service and repair company. 

While the professional can handle the more complex maintenance, you can do your part by keeping the AC filters clean and ensuring the airflow to the AC unit is not blocked by any debris, furniture, or other obstacles.  

Get Professional Assistance in Replacing the AC Unit 

If you want professional assistance in determining if you need a new AC or choosing the right replacement, get in touch with us at Active Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We offer a complete range of air conditioning services, including AC installation, repair, and AC maintenance replacement services. Our team can safely remove the existing indoor or outdoor AC unit at your property and install the new system. To schedule a service with one of our HVAC technicians, contact us today.

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