February 27, 2024

4 mins

How Long Do Air Conditioners Really Last? 

No one wants to go home to a broken air conditioner at the height of summer.  

It’s hot. It’s uncomfortable. And it can cause serious health concerns, like migraines and indoor heat stroke. Most of all, it’s an additional expense that many homeowners aren't prepared to spend without warning.  

So, they try to avoid this by trying to expand their AC unit lifespan. But that isn’t always so simple. That’s because your air conditioner's lifespan depends on all kinds of factors, like the quality of installation and frequency of usage.  

So, we’ll help you identify your air conditioner’s lifespan by covering the factors that affect its functionality. Plus, we’ll share tips so you can maximize its use.  

What are Air Conditioning Units?

Air Conditioning (AC) units are a type of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. Its job is to cool your home and help maintain its humidity by transferring the hot air from inside to outside.

Then, the AC unit circulates cool air through the following components:  

  • Refrigerant  
  • Compressor  
  • Cooling coil  
  • Evaporator coil  
  • Expansion valve  

How Often Do Air Conditioners Need to be Replaced?

Most homeowners replace their air conditioners every 10-15 years, depending on the unit type. By this time, the parts have already reached their maximum usage. Additionally, manufacturers may have stopped producing replacement parts due to newer technology.  

Here’s a quick list of the most common AC units in Vancouver and their average lifespan:  

  • Central AC: 10-15 years  
  • Ductless Mini-Split: 20 years  
  • Window AC: 10 years  
  • Portable AC: 5-10 years  
  • Hybrid AC: 10-15 years  

What Affects Your AC Unit’s Lifespan?  

While AC units can last until 15 years, that number can change due to the following factors:  

#1 – Climate Conditions

Because your AC is outdoors, it’s subject to the wear and tear caused by the elements. For example, places with high humidity and salty air can cause your AC unit to corrode faster. On the other hand, running it when temperatures reach 15°C can result in a frozen coil and damaged parts.  

Although you can’t do anything about extreme weather, you can extend your air conditioner’s lifespan by regularly cleaning the coils and removing debris.

Pro tip: Use a breathable cover to protect your unit from winter elements.

#2 – Rate of Use  

It’s easy to reach for the air conditioner remote every time you feel the heat. But when you do it too often, you’ll quickly reduce its lifespan. As with anything, the more you use your unit, the faster it will deteriorate.  

Thankfully, you can avoid this by:  

  • Using your air conditioning unit’s timer when going to bed.
  • Turning it off when you’re not at home.
  • Opting for a fan when the weather is mild.

Pro tip: Set your unit to 24-25°C for optimal temperature. This doesn’t only save on energy bills and minimizes wear and tear. But it’s also the best for comfort, even during the summer heat waves.

#3 – Maintenance and Upkeep

Although regular maintenance and upkeep might seem insignificant, it can extend your unit’s life to 30 years. That’s a big difference, considering its average life cycle is 15 years. For air conditioners in Vancouver, it’s best to have them maintained by a certified HVAC technician every year.  

On the other hand, here are 3 tips on how to maintain your unit:  

  1. Replace your filters every 2-3 months.
  1. Have your AC cleaned by a professional every 2-3 months.
  1. Clean any debris or dirt that’s surrounding your unit. This includes cutting the grass around it.  

#4 – Quality of Installation  

How your unit is installed makes a serious difference in

its lifecycle. That's because placement, current HVAC system, and property size and insulation are all vital for its efficiency. For instance, if you have a unit that’s too small or big, then it will overwork and quickly break.  

That’s why you can’t skip hiring a reliable HVAC installer for your home. Not only will they make sure that you have the best air conditioner unit for your home. But they’ll also make certain that it’s installed properly so you get the best out of your system.  

They also perform preventive maintenance to extend the lifetime of your unit. And they’re always ready to help you with all your HVAC needs.  

Looking for an HVAC professional?

At Mom’s Heating & Cooling, we only do premium HVAC installations and work with top-skilled technicians. Reach out today so you can feel more comfortable and safe in your home.

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