How Long do Air Conditioners Last? 7 Signs That Tell You the Age of Your AC Unit

(Last Updated On: March 6, 2023)

You’ve probably invested in a good air conditioning system for all the right reasons. Seasons change, and no matter where you are, you will still use this type of appliance because hot days can be unbearable. An air conditioner brings a lot of comforts. But even if you have the best one in your home, you still can’t help but wonder if these units were built to last. If not, how long do air conditioners last? 

According to an article published in CNN about how long things last, an air conditioner’s average life is between 15 to 25 years. This, of course, is based on a lot of factors. Your unit should be well-maintained and should complete regular check-ups and cleaning to do so. 

This will also depend on the type of air conditioning unit you have in your home. Window type air-condition generally lasts about a decade. 

Air conditioning systems today are more durable than what was sold decades ago. Yes, they can last longer, but if your unit is 10 or 15 years old but still functioning properly, it would not hurt to start researching new equipment should the time comes that it will need replacement. 

But are there signs to see your unit’s age, and will you know if it’s time to replace it finally? Fortunately, yes, and there is a lot of it. 

Seven signs that show your air conditioner is getting old

It is easy to tell your air conditioner’s age by looking at its manufacturer’s nameplate. It can be easy to spot, and it is written in the unit itself. However, if your unit is well-maintained, then it can probably last longer than expected. Checking your air conditioner’s age through some noticeable signs can help with your decision. 

 1. You have your unit for about a decade.

A decade is long enough, and sometimes, even though you think that you are doing an excellent job to keep your air conditioning unit regularly maintained, double-checking your unit if it needs repair or replacement is worth it. 

Regular maintenance means having your unit cleaned and checked at least once a year. There are also individual parts inside your unit that needs to be checked because they have their lifespan.

For example, the filter needs to be regularly cleaned and replaced, depending on your air conditioner use. 

2. Your unit still uses freon.

Back in the days, refrigerators and air conditioners rely on freon to cool. Freon is also known as HCFS or hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which is very dangerous to the environment, particularly the ozone layer. According to an article published in, freon is no longer produced or imported since 2020. 

Still, new air conditioning systems made since 2010 are more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient as they no longer rely on Freon, also a form of hydrofluorocarbon but has no harmful effect on the ozone. If your unit still uses freon, you can be sure it is old, and you should consider switching to a modern, safer unit. 

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3. You can already hear annoying noises.

Most air conditioning units produce today are quieter than ever. Yes, they still make that white noise sound, but it is very bearable, and babies even love them when sleeping.

When you notice that your unit produces loud, grinding noises regularly, you may want to contact your service provider to have it checked. Sometimes, old units make loud noises that come from the motor or the fan.

Parts, of course, can be replaced. However, when the cost of a replacement seems too much, it might be cheaper to buy a new one.

4. You’ve called service repairs a few times already.

Check how many times you’ve contacted your air conditioning unit service provider in a year. If you feel that you are spending too much on having your unit checked and repaired, you can use it as a sign to finally have your unit replaced.

Repairs and maintenance of older air conditioner units are more expensive than that of the newer ones. If the cost is too high, then your unit might be that old 

5. Your bills are higher than usual.

Worried and desperate woman accounting home and business finances on laptop, stressed for too much debts and expenses. In online banking, paying bills mortgage and financial problems concept.

When your air-conditioning unit is not running as smoothly and efficiently as it should, chances are, it is going to use more power to deliver. And more power leads to high energy consumption that then leads to an increase in your energy bill.

This is something you can check with your energy provider. They can give you a personal assessment of the things that consume more energy inside your home.

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Most air conditioning produced even in the past years is more energy efficient. Still, if you see that your AC is the one causing the increase in bill, then your unit might be too old to run smoothly. 

6. Temperature varies sometimes.

Suppose you notice that your home temperature varies, especially on a hot day. In that case, your AC unit might not be doing its job efficiently.

When the unit is too old, it might be difficult to release cool air and balance the temperature. You may also even notice that the air around your home is too dry or humid, and it’s not making you feel comfortable anymore. 

7. You feel that you need to have a more energy-efficient option.

Older AC units are less likely to be energy efficient. You may notice it from the factors stated above. Suppose you feel that you need to have your unit replaced with a more energy-efficient option.

In that case, it is probably that old to function correctly. Then perhaps, you are making the right decision. 

In determining if you need air conditioner replacement, it is important to know your air conditioner unit’s age because it plays a vital role in how your unit operates to give you a comfortable feel at home.

If it’s no longer doing its job as it used to, you can start planning and looking for new units, should the time come that you need to buy a new one.
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Ian, his wife, Heather, and two collies live in Central Florida and try to enjoy just about everything the Sunshine State has to offer, especially if it involves being on the water or out enjoying nature.


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