What is the Average Life Span of an AC Unit?

The average life span of an AC unit is 15 to 20 years. Several factors can affect the longevity of your system, such as climate, usage, and maintenance.

Average Life Span of AC Units

In the U.S., the average life span of AC units is 15 to 20 years. In coastal areas, the life span of an AC unit may be shorter than average due to exposure to saltwater and sulfur. In areas with subtropical environments, owners may see shorter life spans because their AC systems are used consistently and have the added burden of combatting excessive moisture in the air.

Extending the Average Life Span of an AC Unit

As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do to help your air conditioner last longer.

  • Have preventative maintenance performed on your cooling system every year, preferably before the start of cooling season. Preventative maintenance tunes up your cooling system to counteract the effects of wear and tear, improves efficiency, and catches defects so they can be repaired before further damaging the system.
  • Change your air conditioning filter on a regular basis, at the frequency recommended by the filter’s manufacturer or sooner if needed. Clean air filters allow air to move correctly through the system, allowing the air conditioner to perform optimally.
  • Keep a clearance of at least 24 inches surrounding your exterior air conditioning unit to facilitate proper airflow. Do not store items against the outdoor unit.
  • Call your HVAC technician for repairs at the first sign of system trouble – do not continue operating your air conditioner when malfunctions are present. Operating a malfunctioning system can cause extensive damage, and even unfixable breakdowns.
  • Use energy efficient thermostat settings to reduce AC system use. With your air conditioner operating less and more efficiently, you’ll save money and conserve system life.