How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

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How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

Your air conditioner is an essential part of your Lakewood home’s HVAC system. When the sweltering summer months roll around, you’ll need an air conditioner that you can count on to cool your home. But, how long can you rely on your air conditioner before it requires replacement?

Here, we’ll discuss the typical lifespan of an air conditioner, as well as how to maintain your A/C for greater longevity. 

The Lifespan of an Air Conditioner

The lifespan of your air conditioner will hinge on a few key factors, including:

With optimal care and proper use, your air conditioner should remain in good condition for around 10 to 15 years. Without proper maintenance or with intensive use, air conditioners usually only last for a maximum of 10 years. If you only use your air conditioner at a moderate rate and maintain it properly, it may last for 20 to 25 years. 

Taking Care of Your Air Conditioner


Cleaning or replacing the filters is the most critical maintenance task for air conditioners. Over time, dust, dirt, debris, and other impurities build up in the filters of your air conditioner unit. The accumulated debris inhibits regular airflow and will cause the efficiency of your unit to drop. Additionally, the debris in the filter can be released into your home’s air when your A/C is on, lowering your home’s air quality. So, be sure to clean or replace your A/C unit’s filters as recommended for your specific unit. 

Condensate Drains

Periodically running a wire through your unit’s condensate drains will prevent clogged drain channels in your A/C system. This maintenance task will prevent excess humidity and moisture around your unit, too. 


The evaporator and condenser coils of your air conditioner accumulate dirt over time. Cleaning these coils is essential to preserving proper airflow and high air quality in your home. Have your coils cleaned at least once annually to preserve the lifespan of your A/C.

Signs That You Need a Replacement A/C

We’ve covered the fact that air conditioners don’t last forever. But, how can you tell that it’s time for an air conditioner replacement? Look out for these warning signs: 

Insufficient Cooling

A telltale sign that your A/C is in need of replacement is insufficient cooling. Simply put, if your A/C unit is no longer cooling your home effectively, it could be time for a new one. Poor cooling can stem from compressor damage, low levels of Freon, frozen coils, or several other possible issues. Have an HVAC professional check out your air conditioner if it’s not producing cool air to discover the issue. 

Leakage or Excess Moisture 

Some condensation surrounding your air conditioner is fine and to be expected. However, if you’re noticing significant leakage around your A/C, there’s a problem at hand. This may indicate a leaking coolant, which can put the health of your household at risk. Additionally, leakage from your A/C may damage nearby furniture or your flooring. Left unaddressed, A/C leakage could cause mold to develop in your home. So, at the first sign of excess leakage from you A/C, call your Lakewood A/C repair experts. 

Poor Air Flow 

If your A/C unit is producing cold air, but that cold air isn’t circulating effectively throughout your home, repairs or a replacement may be in order. Problems with your vents or with the compressor of your A/C could be to blame, but, again, have it checked out by your A/C repair team to know for sure. If your A/C is already nearing the end of its lifespan, having the unit replaced may be more cost-effective than having it repaired. 


Loud rattling, banging, grinding, or squealing sounds coming from your A/C (that you don’t regularly hear) indicate possible damage. Unusual noises from your A/C are usually a sign of major issues, like motor bearing damage or a misaligned belt. If you have the problem addressed quickly, repairs will likely suffice. But, when left alone, these air conditioner problems may require a full replacement.

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