How Long should Home Air Conditioners Last?

A home air conditioner is more than just a convenience for many people. During the hottest times of the year they keep us comfortable. Knowing the lifetime on your air conditioner unit can save you valuable money. It will also keep you from suffering during the summer months by knowing when it's time to replace it.


An average air conditioner will last around 20 years with the proper maintenance. However, units that get heavy usage may not live this long. If you live in an area with high humidity, or average summer temperatures above 90 degrees, the lifetime of your unit can be cut by almost half. Since most older air conditioners can only cool a house by around 14 degrees, on a really hot and humid day, the air conditioner will run constantly. Newer air conditioners can cool the home by 20 to 25 degrees, but will still run a lot on the very hot days.

Lifetime of Parts

Just because the air conditioner itself will last 20 years, this doesn't mean that all the parts will last this long. Evaporation coils, scroll compressors, and air handlers can go out much earlier. As long as this is caught in time, these parts can be replaced without having to replace the entire unit. With average use these parts will last the majority of the life of the unit itself.

If your air conditioner is more than 20 years old, you may want to consider replacing the unit. The new unit will give you better cooling as well as a more efficient way to keep your home comfortable.