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When shopping for a new air conditioning unit, many homeowners are concerned with how long different systems can be expected to last. What is the average life of a central air conditioning system? What can homeowners do to extend the unit’s service life, and what issues can cause it to fail sooner than expected? Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling has the answers!

What Is the Average Life of a Central Air Conditioning System?

According to, central air conditioners typically last 15 to 20 years. However, this is only an average life expectancy for these units. The actual lifespan of your central air conditioner could be shorter or longer than expected. There are numerous factors that can impact what is the average life of a central air conditioning system, both positively and negatively.

How Can Homeowners Extend Their Air Conditioner’s Life?

Now that you know the average life of a central air conditioning system, let’s talk about how to keep your air conditioning unit running as long as possible. There are many factors that can influence how long your system lasts.

  • One of the most important things you can do to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan is to hire a qualified HVAC professional to install it for you. Proper sizing and installation can help avoid many common problems that can shorten the life of your system.
  • You should also change your air filter on a regular basis. A clogged air filter can cause the system to work harder, leading to overheating and stress on the air conditioner.
  • Take steps to ensure good airflow through the home. Seal any duct leaks, seal any air leaks around windows and doors, and keep all vents open and clear. Taking these steps will help your air conditioner run more efficiently and reduce the chances of it failing prematurely.

Do Central Air Conditioning Systems Need to Be Serviced?

Central air conditioners definitely require professional services over the years if you want to keep them running well and preserve their function and condition. It’s important to stay on track with regular maintenance needs and prioritize any cooling system repairs that are needed.

Professional maintenance service is often called a tune-up, and regular tune-ups have been directly linked to extending the average life of a central air conditioning system. During an air conditioner maintenance tune-up, the technician will check all of the parts of your AC system to make sure they’re in good shape. They’ll also clean it and take care of any small problems that could turn into bigger ones if left unchecked.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for any warning signs that may indicate your system is in need of repair service. If you notice your air conditioner isn’t cooling as well as it used to, is making strange noises, or is leaking water, it’s time to call in a professional for repairs. Failing to do so could lead to more system damage as well as bigger problems down the line, and may cause your system to fail prematurely.

How Often Should a Central Air Conditioning System Be Serviced?

Most central air conditioning units require one professional maintenance tune-up each year. This service should preferably be performed in the spring before the start of the cooling season. Doing so ensures all components are in good working order ahead of time to protect against damage and breakdowns once you need to use the air conditioner.

Repair services for air conditioners should be scheduled as soon as performance problems are detected. Whenever you notice signs of discomfort, poor energy efficiency, or other central air conditioner issues, call for repairs right away.

What Issues Can Cause an Air Conditioner to Fail Prematurely?

There are a few different things that can cause an air conditioning unit to fail prematurely.

  • One of the most common issues is a lack of air conditioner maintenance throughout the years.
  • Failing to change your air filters or clean your outdoor unit can lead to decreased performance and eventually, a failed compressor.
  • Refrigerant leaks are another common cause of premature failure for air conditioners
  • Another issue that can cause an air conditioner to fail is over usage by turning the thermostat down too low or failing to set the programmable thermostat properly.
  • Airflow restrictions can also be a problem, caused by dirty air filters, blocked outdoor units, duct leaks, and closed registers in the house. When there isn’t enough airflow, the air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, which can lead to early failure.

Professional Help to Extend Air Conditioner Lifespan

What is the average life of an air conditioner is approximately 15 to 20 years, but there are many factors that can impact how long your actual unit stays in service. Scheduling routine maintenance can help identify and address small issues before they become bigger problems. Having repair service performed when issues are detected prevents extensive damage and protects the air conditioner.

Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling helps Burlington, KY homeowners maximize central air conditioner lifespan with expert installation, maintenance, and repair services. Contact us today to learn more!