How Long Does A Central AC Unit Last?

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Though the life of a home air conditioner varies depending on a number of factors, well-maintained models should last between 10 and 15 years. Many devices can be extended even further by performing routine inspections and maintenance, both large and small. It’s a smart idea to start looking at new equipment when your device is about 15 years old so you’ll be ready when it’s time to upgrade it. You’ll want to learn about the most up-to-date, energy-efficient options available, as well as get a price estimate.

What affects how long an air conditioner lasts?

  • Size. It is critical to have a properly sized system for your home.
    • Shorter cycles put more strain on an air conditioner’s components, so if the system is larger than necessary, it will turn on and off too quickly.
    • Air conditioners that are too small for space may run for an extended period of time and struggle to cool your home, causing wear and tear on parts.
  • Installation 
    • Poorly designed, sized, or sealed ductwork has an effect on airflow.
  • Inadequate routine maintenance
  • Outdoor unit exposed to harsh elements such as hail, salty air, or other corrosives in the air
  • Use of ineffective coil cleaning agents
  • The thermostat is set too high or too low—the ideal temperature range is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Signs that indicate you may need an AC replacement

  • Multiple motor or compressor failures – What do you get when you combine the age of an air conditioner with a failed motor or compressor? You might be surprised at how much it costs to repair these major air conditioner parts. Whether this is your first time dealing with a broken motor/compressor/coil or you’ve dealt with it before, an entire system replacement may be a more cost-effective solution.
  • Problem with Installation – In an effort to save money, many homeowners opt for the do-it-yourself method of installing air conditioners. While there is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, it becomes a major issue when the DIYer makes a mistake during the process. It’s not just a cost issue; installation mistakes can also pose a safety risk.  Always keep in mind that, regardless of their impressive energy efficiency, air conditioners can only function at their best when properly installed. This includes proper sizing, measurements, and electrical work.
  • Ear-Blasting Sounds – It is normal for most air conditioners to make noises (like during cycling). However, if they have evolved into clunking, grinding, or squealing noises, you should consider contacting an HVAC specialist These ominous sounds may indicate a problem with the blowers, fans, or motors. While they do not automatically imply that you need to replace the entire unit, you should think about it, especially if you have to replace each of these primary parts, which can cost thousands of dollars.
  • Multiple Expensive Repairs – How many times have you needed to call an HVAC technician in the last few years? If you’ve noticed an increase in service calls and have already spent thousands of dollars on repairs, it’s time to consider an AC replacement. Buying a new air conditioner to replace an old one may be more expensive at first. However, you can recoup your costs over time, especially if you purchase a high-quality air conditioner with an improved energy-efficiency rating.

Do You Need an HVAC Installer You Can Trust?

Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As the premier Commercial and Residential HVAC Service provider for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, Superior Mechanical can do it all, from heating and air conditioning services to boiler services, to plumbing services. Our technicians are certified professionals who will ensure every part of your project is done right using a careful checklist to guide and test each step. At the end of your appointment, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your new system and give you tips on maintenance so it lasts for years to come. Contact us today for amazing service tomorrow!

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