How Long Will an Air Conditioner Last?

 September 8, 2022

By  Cool Man

There’s nothing worse on a hot summer day than stepping inside your home to find that your air conditioner has broken down. Not only is it miserable to deal with the heat, but it can also be costly to replace an AC unit. So, how can you prevent this from happening? The answer lies in understanding how long an air conditioner should last and what factors impact its lifespan.

How Long Should an Air Conditioner Last?

On average, an air conditioner should last between 10 and 15 years. However, several factors can impact this number. For example, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, your AC unit will have to work harder and will likely not last as long as one in a more moderate climate. The type of AC unit you have (central air or window unit) will also affect how long it lasts. Central air units tend to last longer because they’re built to withstand more wear and tear. Window units, on the other hand, are not as durable and will typically need to be replaced more frequently.

5 Factors impact its lifespan

Five main factors impact the lifespan of an air conditioner:

  1.  Climate – As mentioned above, extreme weather conditions can shorten the lifespan of an AC unit. If you live in an area with sweltering summers and cold winters, your AC unit will have to work overtime to keep your home comfortable, which can lead to premature failure. The report shows that the lifespan of an AC unit in a moderate climate is about ten years, while units in extreme environments only last about half that time.  
  2. Type of Unit – Central air units are designed to last longer than window units because they’re built with more robust materials. Additionally, central air units don’t have all the exposed parts that window units do, making them less susceptible to damage from things like wind, rain, and debris. Statistically, central air units last about 15 years, while window units only last about half that time. 
  3. Maintenance – Proper maintenance is key to prolonging the life of any AC unit. Be sure to have your unit serviced by a professional at least once a year and clean it regularly (at least once every few months). Additionally, regularly replacing your filter will help your unit run more efficiently and prevent potential problems. 
  4. Usage – If you use your AC unit frequently (multiple times per day), it will not last as long if used sparingly (once or twice daily). This is because constant use puts additional strain on the system and can cause parts to wear out prematurely. AC units used sparingly will last about 15 years, while those used more frequently will only last 10-12 years.
  5. Quality – Cheaper AC units may seem like a good idea initially, but they often don’t last as long as their higher-priced counterparts. This is because they’re made with lower-quality materials and are not built as well overall. It’s important to remember that when it comes to AC units (and most things in life), you get what you pay for! 


An air conditioner is a significant investment, so you want to be sure you buy one that will last. By understanding how long an AC unit should stay and what factors impact its lifespan, you can decide when to replace yours. And, if you take good care of your unit and have it serviced regularly, you can prolong its life even further!

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