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Home and Garden

How Many Years Should an AC Unit Last?

Summers can be a genuine struggle in many parts of the world because people feel the constant need to keep themselves cool. Considering that in the last 30 years, the average temperature during summer has increased in regions with warmer climates such as Florida, an AC is a vital appliance in every home. 

Depending on their type, AC units have different lifespans. Modern air conditioners have a lifespan of 15-20 years, whereas older models have a lifespan of 10-12 years. But the performance of your air conditioner is determined by more factors than just their assigned lifespan, and Enqode recommends that you take this into consideration. 

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Your AC Unit

Exposure to the Elements

An HVAC system’s condensing unit spends the entire year outside. Its longevity can be influenced by the length of time it is exposed and the harshness of the environment. Depending on the climate you live in, it might take a battering out there depending on your temperature and the air quality in your location. 

To lengthen the lifespan of your AC unit, it is recommended that at least twice a month, you clean the coil to avoid the accumulation of dirt and potentially corrosive particles. Remove any leaves, pine needles, debris, garbage, or other materials that have accumulated around the unit and are causing it to retain dampness. 

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Some homeowners may purchase an AC unit cover to safeguard their unit when it is not used during the winter months. But be careful with the material you choose! Plastic coverings may trap moisture, mold, and mildew within and encourage rust and corrosion, which can be harmful. A solution would be to opt for a more breathable material that does not retain moisture. 


Even if you, as a homeowner, take care of your AC unit, sometimes it is not enough to maintain the well-functioning of your appliance, and it might need the attention of a professional. A yearly tune-up will look for any abnormalities, change filters, thoroughly evaluate your system, and notify you of anything that might create difficulties in the near future. 

The upside of contacting an AC professional is checking your unit deeper. Components such as the compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil, fan and motor assemblies, and condensate drains can be cleaned and inspected. They can also make minor modifications and fixes to enhance performance and perhaps prevent more significant problems and higher repair costs in the future.

Frequency of use 

If your HVAC unit is continuously operating, it will experience more significant wear and tear, resulting in a shorter lifespan. Regular cleanings, programmable thermostats, and periodic maintenance keep your system functioning effectively and prevent it from running nonstop. If it’s hot outside, your air conditioner will have to work more to keep your house cool. 

However, another factor that should be considered is the region you live in. Compared to a unit installed in a warmer and more humid region, an AC system in a northern climate with reasonably mild summers would likely amass fewer hours in operation and fewer start/stop cycles. If you live in a hot and humid region, consider additional options to keep your home cool during summer, like reducing the amount of natural light in your home by closing the curtains and installing a ceiling fan. 

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