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End of Summer Question: How Long Will Your AC Last?

air-conditioner-white-bgNo air conditioning system will run year after year—there is no “endless summer” when it comes to an AC. An air conditioner that receives regular maintenance each year and has repairs done promptly as needed can put in many years of effective and efficient cooling. But eventually it will reach a point where its performance falters and it costs too much to run, and it’s best to replace it with a new system before it suffers an emergency breakdown. 

This brings up one of the Big Questions about residential air conditioning: How long can you expect your central air conditioner to last? You want to know when it’s time to plan for a new AC installation and leave aside scheduling air conditioning repair in Essex, VT.

This post will look into this Big Question—although, for a definite answer, you’ll need to have our technicians personally inspect your AC and offer a professional diagnosis. Consider the information below your quick guide to AC life expectancy.

The Standard Service Life: 10 to 15 Years

This is the baseline for a central air conditioner. The average system can work effectively for 10 to 15 years before starting to suffer a decline in cooling capacity and rise in operating costs. The standard manufacturer warranty covers 10 years, and most ACs that have routine care will reach this point. It’s not difficult to get a cooling system to 15 years either; keeping up with annual maintenance usually allows an AC to get to this upper estimate. 

When an air conditioning system is more than 15 years old is when we recommend arranging for a replacement, even if the system is outwardly working well. At this point, age starts to catch up with the system, even with maintenance, and repairs will become more frequent and more expensive. If you’ve gotten your air conditioner to work for a decade and a half, you’ve more than gotten back your initial investment in it. 

Factors That Can Affect This Expectancy

We’ve already mentioned regular maintenance, and we can’t emphasize this enough: annual spring maintenance for an AC is key to getting it to a long service life. When an air conditioner misses annual maintenance, it will lose years off its lifespan. It can even see its life expectancy drop in half. Rather than replacing an air conditioner after 10 to 15 years, it may need replacement after only 5 to 8. That’s plenty of valuable years lost. 

The amount of work an air conditioner does can also lead to an early decline. In our climate, air conditioners put in plenty of hours during the summer, but not to the extent of much warmer climates, so we can expect a standard service life for most ACs. Just make sure to practice moderate thermostat settings and don’t leave the AC running when it shouldn’t. 

If you have an AC that’s in the 10–15 range that’s no longer working as well as it should, call our experts to investigate. We’ll find out if a targeted repair is a cost-effective answer or if we need to replace the system.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Talk to us today to help learn more about the future of your home cooling. 

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