cozy bedroom with a wooden flooring - Which Factors Impact AC Lifespan the Most? (Explored)

If you notice a sharp rise in energy bills during cooling season, it could be a sign that your air conditioner is reaching the end of its lifespan. A new, high-efficiency system will significantly reduce your energy costs.

Other factors that can affect the lifespan of your HVAC system include proper sizing, maintenance and programmable thermostat use.


The climate and environment an AC unit operates in play a role in its lifespan. High temperatures put a lot of strain on the system and can cause parts to wear out more quickly than in cooler climates. Environmental factors such as excessive dust, dirt, and other contaminants can also lead to wear and tear. Professional installation and routine maintenance can help extend the lifespan of a home cooling system.

In general, a well-maintained air conditioner has an average 15-20 year lifespan. However, the make and model of your HVAC system, consumption habits, environmental factors, and level of maintenance will all impact its longevity.

Most AC units are designed to work optimally at temperatures under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Whenever you use your AC to cool the house on a sweltering day, you are asking it to operate outside its design limits. If you want to keep your AC at peak performance, stick with the 20-degree rule.

When temperatures are hot, it’s harder for the heat exchanger to transfer the heat from the inside of your house to the outdoor unit. The gas compressor also has to expend more energy removing the heat from the refrigerant. This extra energy use causes your AC to overheat and creates additional wear on the unit.

A warm summer can also increase the humidity in your house, causing your AC to have to work even harder to remove moisture from the air. This can also lead to the formation of mold and mildew in your ductwork, which can negatively impact your family’s health.

Air filters need to be replaced more frequently during warmer weather, as the warm air tends to hold more dust and other contaminants than cooler air. A dirty air filter forces your AC to work harder to keep the house clean, reducing its lifespan and efficiency.

The most important factor in your AC’s lifespan is regular preventative maintenance. A yearly maintenance visit by a qualified technician can help extend the lifespan of your system and reduce costly breakdowns and repairs. Professionals will inspect your unit, clean the coils and condensation drip pan, perform any necessary cleaning, replace the air filter, and ensure the refrigerant lines are free of leaks.


The type of climate in which you live and the location of your outdoor unit plays a huge role in how long your AC lasts. Dry environments tend to have shorter lifespans, as dust accumulates around the coils and filters much faster. Regular cleanings and changing the air filter can help combat this issue. In humid environments, humidity increases the workload of your AC. This can lead to overheating and premature damage to the components.

Depending on your climate and the area in which you live, you may need to invest in a dehumidifier to keep moisture at bay. Cooking, showering, and other activities can increase the humidity in your home. This can lead to a build-up of moisture in your ductwork, which can cause molds and mildew that can exacerbate breathing issues for you and your family members. Adding a dehumidifier to your system can keep moisture levels in check and help your AC run more efficiently.

Your AC is designed to pull hot air out of your home and recirculate it over the evaporator coils. This process changes water from liquid to gaseous form and releases it into the condensate drain. If your AC is constantly struggling to remove excess humidity in humid regions, it can wear down the evaporator coils and shorten the unit’s lifespan.

In addition, high humidity can cause your AC to overheat, causing it to work harder and consume more energy. This puts a strain on your system, and if you have an old model with outdated technology, it can cause premature breakdowns.

Your AC’s lifespan can also be shortened by poor maintenance. Neglecting routine maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting electrical connections can result in reduced efficiency and increased wear and tear on your equipment. Keeping up with routine professional maintenance can prevent costly repairs and extend your unit’s lifespan. To learn more about how to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan, contact a local cooling expert today. They can help you schedule a maintenance appointment and perform simple upkeep tasks like cleaning the outdoor unit, inspecting the refrigerant lines, and checking the condensation drip pan.

elegant living room with an airconditioner - Which Factors Impact AC Lifespan the Most? (Explored)

Dust is a substance composed of moderately gross particles from both inside and outside your home. It consists of tiny bits of your dead skin, dander from pets, mold and fungus spores, soot, soil particles, small parts from plants and insects, and many other materials. It’s also loaded with bacteria and chemical compounds. When these materials build up on and in your AC, they contaminate the air and can cause a variety of health problems.

Besides being an allergy-inducing particulate that can fill up your duct system, dust also clogs the AC coils and air filters. This prevents the AC from cooling effectively, and it can reduce its lifespan by forcing it to work harder to do its job.

The amount of dust in your home can vary from area to area, as well as the climate where you live. Some areas are dry, and so dust accumulates in the coils and air filters more quickly. Other areas experience heavy rain, and this can corrode the metal parts of your AC unit.

In addition, the location of your outdoor AC unit can play a role in its lifespan. If it’s in an exposed or poorly drained area, it can be subjected to water damage, and this can clog the coils and restrict airflow.

Always make sure your air conditioner is kept clean because regular maintenance of your AC unit will help extend its lifespan. A good routine of cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, changing the air filters regularly, and having yearly inspections can keep your AC running efficiently. This will cut your energy costs and reduce the amount of wear and tear on the unit, prolonging its lifespan.


As with any large appliance, routine maintenance has a direct impact on how long your air conditioner lasts. Simple tasks like replacing the air filter, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting electrical connections can add years to your unit’s lifespan. Scheduling quarterly professional maintenance visits, and completing these simple upkeep tasks yourself, can help you avoid costly repairs down the road.

Other factors that can affect your AC’s longevity include the quality of your home’s air and its energy efficiency. Using programmable thermostats can reduce your HVAC’s load, and keep your energy bills low. Additionally, sealing leaky ducts with duct tape or mastic and stuffing insulation can improve the air quality in your home.

The climate where you live and the placement of your outdoor AC unit can also impact the life span of your system. Dry climates cause dirt to build up more quickly on your air conditioner’s coils and filters, which can lead to premature wear. You can avoid this by regularly cleaning your AC equipment. If your AC is located outside, trim shrubs and weeds so they are not blocking the equipment. Additionally, remove stray leaves and debris that can get into your unit’s vents.

It is important to replace your AC’s filter every three months during peak usage periods. You should also change the coolant once every couple of years. Lastly, you should always have a qualified technician examine your air conditioner for leaks. Leaks can occur in the seams where two sections of metal meet, or around the screws that hold them together. These leaks can be expensive to repair, and if the leaks are repeated frequently, it may be time to consider replacement.