That’s a good question, but hopefully, one we can shed a little light on. Air conditioners don’t last forever, but like any good mattress or home appliance, you’ll want it to last as many years as possible. So how long exactly does the typical air conditioner last?
Well, it’s more complicated than that. In the best cases, air conditioners generally last anywhere from 10-15 years before they become ineffective. However, this number can vary on the type of air conditioner you have as well as with the maintenance that’s been performed over the years. A system that has not been checked on or maintained is obviously going to live a shorter life than a system that has been cared for. Not only that, but an AC system will get more energy inefficient as time goes on, which will only cost you more money and push you to replace it.
Let’s get into the specifics of how long your AC will last.
The Ideal Lifespan
The ideal lifespan, as we mentioned earlier, is 10-15 years for most air conditioners. However, this implies that the AC has been maintained and repaired for all these years. Without maintenance, it’s much more likely that an AC lasts less than 10 years. This doesn’t just mean that your AC will shut down and stop working when it’s too old, this can mean that it might still work but won’t produce any cool air and will just be sucking up power.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
Like we mentioned earlier, your AC might theoretically last for 30 years, but it won’t be doing a cost-effective job at cooling your home, if it still cools your home at all. All it takes is one part of your AC to break down, for the cooling power to be significantly reduced or disabled completely. That’s why when we say your AC should last 10-15 years, we mean 10-15 years of powerful cooling capacity. Beyond that, you might feel hot spots in your home and eventually no cooling at all.
This will also spike your utility bills because the system will be consuming more energy to do its job as it ages. Many homeowners notice a trend of their utility bills slowly rising every year due to an aging AC system. This is the unfortunate reality of an aging air conditioner, which is why we say that it can be cost-effective to replace them when they’re too old.
Everything we’ve mentioned so far can be attributed to a ductless AC except for the lifespan number, which usually can sometimes reach 20 years when it comes to a ductless system that’s adequately maintained. That being said, any air conditioner will break down earlier if it’s used more or maintained poorly- so don’t just assume your ductless AC will last longer just because it’s ductless.
Ductless heat pumps act as heaters during the winter, which will add to the amount of usage it gets and will cause it to need more maintenance and attention during its lifespan.