The quick and easy answer to the question “How long can I expect an AC to last?” is “Between 10 to 15 years.” However, that’s not the question in the title. The answer to “How long can I expect my AC to last?” is more complex, but we’re going to approach it in this post.
The short version of the answer we’re about to give is that your AC’s service life expectancy depends on several factors, such as how well it’s maintained and if it’s always received prompt AC repair in Conyers, GA when it needs it. If you want to get the longest effective lifespan from your air conditioning system, you’ll need to see that it gets the best treatment.
General Life Expectancy
As we mentioned above, the average lifespan of a central air conditioning system is 10–15 years, with most air conditioners having manufacturer guarantees of 10 years. But air conditioning systems that are pushed too hard or have regular maintenance and repairs neglected may end up failing years too early.
Keeping current with annual professional maintenance is essential to getting a long service life from an AC. The 10–15 year estimate only applies if the unit has regular maintenance! Without maintenance, an air conditioner will start to accumulate wear and tear rapidly and age faster. It can also develop more serious malfunctions that technicians would notice early during maintenance appointments.
It’s not difficult to stay up to date with annual maintenance for your air conditioning system. Just sign up for our Energy Savings Agreement. As part of the agreement, you’ll have a maintenance inspection and tune-up for your AC each spring (the ideal time to schedule it). You’ll have heating maintenance as well.
This always bears repeating: Always schedule AC repairs promptly, no matter how “minor” the problem may appear. If you have an air conditioner that’s making strange noises, but otherwise is still working at delivering cooling, don’t ignore those noises and hope they’ll just go away. Any malfunction in an air conditioner can worsen and cause a domino effect of other problems. This leads to more expensive repairs—and it also means increased stress that shortens the AC’s service life.
What About Going Beyond 15 Years?
So far we’ve talked about how an air conditioning system’s life can be shortened. What about the opposite? If you take great care of your AC with diligent maintenance and careful use, can you get it to last beyond 15 years, maybe to 20?
Yes, you can. However, 15 years is a good goal for any AC, and time has shown that even the best cared-for air conditioners will start to decline after that time. We don’t recommend trying to push your air conditioner much past 15 years. There’s a much higher risk the AC will begin to waste energy or suffer a sudden breakdown. The refrigerant in it may be out-of-date and phased out (this most recently occurred in 2020). You can arrange for professionals to examine your older AC and give you a diagnosis about how well it’s working if you want more concrete answers.