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How long should your air conditioner last?

Posted on May 31, 2014
by Appleby Systems

How long should your air conditioner last? Summer weather conditions can leave you feeling hot, sticky, and clammy.  Extreme heat can leave you in need of a refreshing gust of air-conditioned comfort.

To avoid the frustrations of going without AC during these warmer months, it is helpful to consider other factors, apart from the manufacturer’s warranty, that are involved in your unit’s life expectancy.

Longevity: factors involved in a unit’s lifespan

Central air conditioning systems have a typical lifespan of approximately 10-15 years. There are however numerous aspects that can potentially increase your unit’s lifespan beyond its expected warranty.

Though there exist differences among the types and models, both room and central air conditioning units share similarities in what can affect the system’s longevity, reliability and efficiency. 

How long should your air conditioner last?

  • Age of the appliance
    • Depending on the year of your model unit, it may not include an EER (energy efficient ratio).  This rating helps in determining your unit’s efficiency, furthering the lifespan of your AC unit.
  • Weather conditions and thermostat settings
    • Room air conditioning units are reported as one of the appliances most responsible for the increased energy-consumption usage during the hot summer months.  The frequent workload of your cooling system during this period can contribute to its overall effectiveness and could diminish its lifespan.
  • Undersized units
    • Poor measurements can leave you with a unit that is too small to deliver any promise of a refreshing haven.  Smaller AC units cannot meet the cooling load demands that a larger space requires, and can drastically shorten its expected lifespan.
  • Location set-up of unit
    • A general guideline is to position the appliance in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight to ensure your system does not consume more energy—up to 5 % more—than it needs to.
  • Maintenance regularity by an experienced technician
    • If you have been having some problems it is best to contact a certified professional—usually in the spring—to diagnose and perform any necessary electrical or mechanical adjustments.
  • Mechanical compatibility of unit parts
    • When you need to replace components in your system, it is suggested to take the time to understand the relationship between the parts involved in the AC unit, and to invest in compatibility when shopping for new sections. This will facilitate and increase your unit’s longevity, efficiency and reliability.

How long should your air conditioner last? Is your AC unit on the fritz? Let’s talk shop: what to look for and when to buy

When shopping for a new AC system, there are a few things you should know prior to purchasing.

  • Look for lingo
    • As mentioned earlier, if you are seeking an AC unit that is more efficient, take note of its EER—the higher the EER, the lower the cooling costs will be for you. 
    • Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol.  It represents a market class of AC units as a top-energy performer.
  • Off-season purchasing
    • When possible, purchase a new AC system in the off-seasons.  Not only are prices slightly lower, professional installers may be more readily available to assist in answering any inquiries or concerns you may have about a cooling unit.
  • Be warranty-savvy
    • When you find a system that meets your needs, learn more about its warranty before you make the purchase.  If you have any questions or want more information about what is and what isn’t covered in the contract, call the manufacturer directly. 

Take a look at the AC units we carry and give us a call to schedule your installation today.

Air conditioning units photo credit to CWCS under cc 2.0

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