A central air conditioning system is a significant and important investment in any home. Like other home appliances, you hope you’ll get the most years possible from your air conditioner and not have to worry about replacing it for a long time. Sometimes it’s easy to imagine that the cool air will just keep blowing from the AC whenever you need it.
Of course, this isn’t possible. Any mechanical system as hard-working as an air conditioner will wear down over time, even with the best in regular maintenance and targeted repairs. How long can you expect your AC to run? We’ll look into this question, as well as how far you want to push an aging AC, below.
Basic AC Service Life Expectancy
The standard central air conditioning system has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Most warranties cover the first 10 years. This applies to all sizes of air conditioning systems, provided the AC is the accurate size for the house it’s cooling. (An AC that was incorrectly installed, either too small or too large, will undergo greater stress and likely fail years early.)
As a general guideline, we recommend that AC owners start looking for signs their cooling system is wearing down once it’s around 12 years. The signs can start earlier, but 12 years is often the point when even a well-cared for air conditioner will begin to lose energy efficiency and will start needing more repairs. Once an AC reaches 15 years, even if it seems to be outwardly working well, the risk of it suddenly declining and completely failing becomes much higher.
Factors to Consider
There are some external factors that can affect your AC’s service life. We already mentioned one above: an incorrectly sized air conditioning system will age rapidly. This is one of the reasons we always stress with customers to rely on professionals to handle any AC installation. Other factors that can lessen an AC’s service life include missing regular maintenance, mismatched indoor and outdoor components, delayed repairs, and overuse of the system.
Don’t Run Your AC Until It Finally Fails
We don’t advise discovering the age limit of your air conditioning system by running it until it breaks down for the final time. The idea of “squeezing” more years from an AC that’s already older than 15 years isn’t a way to save money. Quite the opposite: it will waste money. Air conditioners start to lose their energy efficiency rating during the last one to two years of the service life, and this will result in the AC costing far too much to run. You’re better off starting over with a new AC rather than paying enormous amounts to run a declining one. A failed AC can also leave you trapped for several days before you can get a new air conditioning system installed. It’s not worth the money or the risk: if you have an old AC, get an early start on an air conditioning replacement in Colorado Springs, CO.
Call us to get started with a new AC. Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area.