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How Long Does AC Last

An air conditioner (AC) is necessary for many homeowners, especially those in hot climates. But how long does AC last?


As a homeowner, you want to know that you’re making a wise investment when you purchase a central air conditioner. After all, this is a sizable expense, and you want to be sure that your AC unit will last for as long as possible.


Let’s explore how long AC units typically last and what signs to look for that indicate it might be time for a replacement. We will also discuss what you can do to make yours last as long as possible.


Usual Air Conditioning System Lifespan

The lifespan of your central AC system depends on many variables. The type of system you have, the climate you live in, how well you maintain it – all these things affect how long it will be until you start shopping for a replacement unit. 


The average lifespan of a central AC system is 15-20 years. But that’s just an average – some units last much longer than that, while others don’t even make it to the 10-year mark. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of extreme weather conditions (scorching summers and cold winters), that puts extra strain on your unit and can shorten its lifespan. Conversely, if you maintain your AC unit and have it cleaned regularly, it could last 25 years or more. 


When it comes to specific types of AC units, here are some estimates on how long they should last:


  • Window Unit – 7-12 years
  • Portable Unit – 5-8 years
  • Central Unit – 15-20 years


Factors That Affect An AC Lifespan

One of the most important things that affect an air conditioner’s lifespan is the unit’s quality. If you buy a cheap, low-quality unit, likely, it won’t last as long as a high-quality unit from a reputable brand. In general, you get what you pay for when it comes to air conditioners. It’s also important to note that AC units have different lifespans depending on their type. Central AC units tend to last longer than window units, for example.


Another critical factor affecting an air conditioner’s lifespan is how well it’s maintained. Like any other machinery, an air conditioner needs regular maintenance and repairs to function correctly and last as long as possible. If you neglect your AC unit or don’t keep up with its maintenance, it will likely break down sooner than it otherwise would have. 


Finally, the usage patterns of the air conditioner also play a role in its lifespan. If you use your AC unit constantly throughout the summer months, it’s going to wear down faster than if you only use it occasionally. The same is true if you live in an area with extreme temperatures; your AC unit will have to work harder and thus not last as long as one in a more moderate climate.


How to Improve the Lifespan of Your Air Conditioner


Now that you know how long AC units typically last and what factors affect their lifespan, let’s talk about what you can do to make yours last as long as possible.


Regularly Clean the AC Unit

One of the best things you can do for your AC unit is to clean it regularly. It includes both the exterior and interior components of the unit. You should also ensure that nothing is blocking the airflow around the AC unit.

Let Your AC Rest

If you’re constantly running your AC unit, it will wear down faster than if you give it a break now and then. When the weather is milder, open up the windows and let fresh air into your home instead of running the AC. It will help prolong the lifespan of your unit.

Have Your AC Unit Serviced Regularly

Another important thing you can do is to have your AC unit serviced regularly. It includes both preventive maintenance and repairs. By catching problems early, you can avoid more serious (and expensive) issues down the road.

Switch to A Smart Thermostat

If you’re still using a traditional thermostat, now is the time to upgrade to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats help improve the efficiency of your AC unit, which can save you money on your energy bills and also help prolong the lifespan of your unit.



An air conditioner’s lifespan depends on several factors, including the quality of the unit, how well it’s maintained, and how often it’s used. AC units should last 7-12 years for window units, 5-8 years for portable units, and 15-20 years for central units. You can improve the lifespan of your AC unit by regularly cleaning it, letting it rest, and having it serviced regularly. Moreover, you should also consider switching to a smart thermostat.


Get a maintenance service with Furnace Repair Vaughan and extend the life of your AC unit by calling us today! Our experts will be more than happy to help you.

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