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Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

How Long Can I Expect My Central AC to Last?


Knowing when it’s time to schedule an appointment for a new air conditioning installation in Glendale, AZ is the key to making a smooth transition without enduring any roasting hot days in your house. After all, you don’t want to get caught with a failed AC during one of the hottest summer days in Phoenix— when it’s more than 110°F outside!

Understanding how many years you can expect from your current AC is an essential tool in the “fight” to ensure you always have a working cooling system. The trouble is that it’s not easy to give a straightforward, one-number-fits-all answer to the question in the title. Many factors come into play when determining how many years an AC has left in it. We’ll get into details below, but the best way to get a health-care check on your air conditioner is to schedule regular maintenance for it this spring and ask our technicians about how its future is looking. 

Beware the “every 10 Years” story

Although an air conditioner may need to be replaced after ten years, it’s not true that an AC is automatically ready to be replaced every ten years. This is a practice that shady amateurs sometimes use to homeowners people to purchase equipment they don’t need. Air conditioners that are kept in good shape with regular maintenance and repairs done promptly often work past ten years. Our technicians will always be honest with you if they think repairs are still worthwhile for your system and will keep it working effectively and efficiently for several more years.

The 10–15 lifespan estimate

This is the standard estimated lifespan for a central air conditioning system, the one most manufacturers quote for the systems they make. We’ve found that it tends to hold true, but it’s not difficult to get an air conditioner to the upper end of that estimate thanks to quality professional service. 

Can an AC work effectively for more than 15 years? Yes—sometimes they get to 20. However, we caution customers about an AC that’s gotten beyond its 15th birthday: pay attention to warning signs it’s not working well or elevated cooling costs.

The other factors

We’ve already mentioned maintenance, but this fact bears repeating: the biggest factor in the longevity of an air conditioning system is how often it receives professional maintenance inspections and tune-ups. Neglecting this annual job can reduce an AC’s lifespan by half. Instead of 10–15 years, the system may only last 5–8 years (and the warranty will be voided as well, making a replacement potentially more expensive). 

Because we live in one of the hottest places in the country, we also have to take into account the sheer amount of work air conditioners do, all the extra stress placed on them. This can also lower life expectancy, although maintenance can balance this out, as well as moving fast to schedule repairs when an AC starts to struggle. 

We can see you get the most from your AC—or the best new one! 

We’re here to help your AC last for as long as possible while still performing at high efficiency and capacity. When the time comes for a new system, we’ll see you have the right new unit to last you another 10, 15, even 20 years.

Call Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating for AC replacements. Kick back and relax, we’ll keep you cool!

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