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How Long Do Air Conditioners Last & When Should You Replace Them?

In our 12 plus years of experience as a leading solar, plumbing and HVAC company, the most common question we have been asked is “How long do air conditioners last?” The answer is air conditioners last anywhere between 15 to 20 years with regular maintenance and proper servicing.

But, wait that’s not all. There are many other factors that can determine the life span of an air conditioner.

Therefore it is important to know about the factors affecting the life span of the air conditioners and how you can extend the life of the air conditioning system. Having a professional HVAC technician regularly maintain and service your ac system will help increase the life span.

Like a vehicle you own, HVAC systems also required regular tune-ups and repairs and replacement. Some homeowners may decide to buy a new air conditioning system if it stops working and the warranty has expired.

While there are some who may consider investing in repair or replacement of parts, to keep an existing air conditioning unit running. So repair or replacement services performed are very important in determining the life span of the AC unit.

Other than repair and replacement, the factors that may determine the life of air conditioner systems are:

  • The quality of Installation done
  • Personal cooling preferences, thermostat settings, and regular system wear and tear
  • Climatic conditions like high humidity
  • Air quality problems like corrosion of the unit due to salty sea air
  • Regular upkeeps and maintenance

Signs That Your Air Conditioner Need To Be Replaced

We have seen above that air conditioners have a long life and what factors can impact their lifespan. Take all the required steps to maintain the air conditioner to ensure a long lifespan.

However, how much ever care one takes, these machines have a limited life and you should know when they get them replaced to save on unnecessary repair expenses.

Below mentioned are some signs that indicate that you need to replace the air conditioner:

  1. High Energy bills
  2. An HVAC unit that has crossed its lifespan will not remain energy efficient. As the year’s pass, the air conditioner will start losing its SEER value. SEER is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio.

    A decrease in the energy efficiency will automatically lead to an increase in energy bills as the unit will start drawing more power to cool the room. If you notice a sudden rise in your energy bills, it would be advisable to consult a professional and get the AC unit checked.

  3. The HVAC system uses Freon
  4. Earlier chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) like R-12 and R-22 were used as refrigerants in air conditioners. But they are not eco-friendly, hence companies have started using more environmentally friendly refrigerants like R-410A in the new systems.

    As of January 1, 2020, the US has stopped production or import of Freon. The restrictions were introduced in 2010 to reduce the use of R-22. If your AC unit is over 10 years old, it would be using Freon.

    In case the refrigerant from the old unit starts leaking, if you notice gas leakage then it is time to replace the unit as you will not be able to refill with Freon. In this scenario, one should replace the air conditioner with an eco-friendlier option.

  5. Your AC requires frequent repairs
  6. Do you need to call HVAC technicians or AC repairs professionals frequently? If your system is asking for repairs too often, your AC may have gone past its average life span. It is common to see air conditioners breaking down frequently once their life is over.

  7. Your AC emits bad smells
  8. An AC may emit bad smells due to various reasons. If there is a moly smell when you start the AC it could be due to the moisture trapped in the filters. If you smell something smoky, there might be some burning or wiring problem. A rotten egg smell could indicate that some dead animal has got stuck in the AC unit.

    An AC professional can determine the reason for the smell emitting from the unit. They can help determine if the smell is due to the air conditioner’s old age.

  9. The air conditioner is making weird sounds
  10. Different air conditioner sounds may indicate something or the other. But unusual loud noises from the air conditioner indicate the end of life of the unit. A professional can determine whether the noises are due to motor failure or some belt issue.

  11. Compressor problem
  12. No air conditioning system can function without a compressor. A compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant and pumping it throughout the AC to help cool. It is the most important component of an HVAC system.

    If it breaks down and its reason cannot be determined or resolved, it is probably due to the old age of the AC system.

    Make Your Air Conditioner Systems Last Longer

    Regular maintenance and proper servicing can help increase the life of the Ac Units. Keep both the indoor and outdoor units of the AC system free from debris.

    Decrease the load on the HVAC system by keeping it off when not in use. Use other appliances like fans or dehumidifiers when possible to elongate the average lifespan.

    Intelligent Design Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Solar Tucson is Southern Arizona’s highest-rated Services & HVAC Company. We are known for providing unmatched service and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

    The extreme temperatures in Arizona can put a lot of pressure on your home air conditioning system. We at Intelligent Design, are ready to assist you with any air conditioning-related problem 24/7.