One of the most common questions we get about central air conditioner installations is in regards to how long they last. After all, you want to make sure you’re getting a good return on your investment, right?
Well, the short answer to this is that central AC systems last about 10-15 years. However, this is dependent on a number of factors, including the steps followed during installation, whether or not your system was installed by a professional, the size of the system, and more!
Read on as we uncover some factors that impact how long a central AC system lasts.
The Installation Job
Air conditioner installation is a much more complex job than many homeowners realize. First, there’s the sizing of your air conditioner, which we’ll expand on more in the next point. Too big of an air conditioner can be just as detrimental to cooling efficiency and system longevity as too small of a system.
Then, there’s the removal of the old system. That may sound like a simple enough step, yet this is where something can go drastically wrong. Components can be damaged or knocked out of place during removal, causing trouble for your new system before you even have the chance to use it.
Finally, there’s testing the system. Before our technicians leave your home after an installation job, we check to ensure it’s operating as it should. Without checking this, you could be stuck with an inefficient air conditioner—which will impede its longevity, too.
The Size of the Air Conditioner
We mentioned above how the sizing of your air conditioner is important. As you may already understand, a system that’s too small for your living space won’t be able to reach the desired temperature on the thermostat. Therefore, it will run longer than it should have to in order to try to cool down your home.
Too large of a system—also referred to as an overpowered system, will go through a process called short-cycling, where it turns on and off rapidly. This causes wear and tear to accumulate faster than usual, therefore impacting how long your air conditioner lasts in the long run.
Level of Maintenance
At the start of this blog post, we said that central air conditioners usually last 10-15 years. When we say this, we’re talking about a well-maintained central air conditioner. Maintenance allows our technicians to thoroughly inspect, clean, and adjust the components that need it. We alert you to repair needs at this time—and this is where system longevity comes in.
The more repairs an air conditioner needs in its lifespan, the shorter that lifespan is going to be. Maintenance helps prevent up to 85% of the repairs your central AC may ever need.
Many homeowners set their thermostats down much lower than they need to be. Most people are comfortable at 78°F, though some folks set their thermostats a lot lower thinking it will help their cooling system cool faster. This isn’t the case though—all it does is cause your air conditioner to run longer and accumulate life-shortening wear and tear faster.