Air Conditioner Durability: How Long Should a Central Air Conditioner Last?

Relaxing with the AC on

If you’re like most people who are on the market for a new AC system, you’ve probably wondered how long a standard central air conditioner should last. The short answer is that a good quality, durable air conditioner has a lifespan between 12-15 years. But what makes an air conditioner durable and long-lasting?

Air conditioners use a process called phase conversion (which is when a liquid converts to a gas and absorbs heat) to force the refrigerants to evaporate and condense over and over in a closed system of coils. This is what produces great quality cool air in your system over the years. When shopping for an air conditioner, there are a few things you should take into consideration in order to make sure your unit will last and that you’re getting the best investment for your money.

What You Should Know Before Getting Your New AC

The following tips will help to ensure the durability and longevity of your new air conditioning system:

  • Look for a reputable company and go see the product in store if possible. You need to make sure you are getting the right sized AC unit for your home and that it meets all of your needs, comes with the right warranties, and most importantly, does the job it’s supposed to do.
  • Resist the temptation to look online where you may find a cheaper deal. You could end up with a non-licensed, poorly qualified installer, or a system that’s faulty, doesn’t clean your air impurities, doesn’t keep you comfortable, and begins to fail prematurely.
  • Instead, find a company that offers the best guarantees and warranties in the industry. Problems do occur and having a reliable professional to call in case of such events is a must. Use a company that stands behind its work and will offer to resolve problems when they arise, no matter what.
  • Use a company that offers at least two years of free maintenance on your AC unit. The longer you maintain your system, the better it will run. Scheduled services at least twice a year can eliminate a whole host of problems.
  • Try to install a complete comfort system including: air circulator, evaporator coil, outdoor condenser (air conditioner or heat pump) and thermostat. Systems run better when they are properly matched. It can also be cost effective to have everything installed in one go, instead of over time.

Important Air Conditioner Terms

Sometimes knowing the lingo is half of the battle when searching for a new AC. Keep these terms in mind when shopping for your new unit:

  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit, the lower the operating costs.
  • Compressor – The pump that moves the refrigerant back and forth between the indoor evaporator and outdoor condenser.
  • Evaporator Coil – The network of tubes filled with refrigerant. It takes heat and moisture out of indoor air and liquid refrigerant evaporates.
  • Ductwork – The piping where air is supplied.

If you keep these tips and considerations in mind, and keep up with regular service checks and maintenance, you should have a unit that performs well for many years to come. Contact us at Woodbridge GTA ClimateCare for help with all of your AC questions and needs.