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June 7, 2019
With another summer finally upon us here in Utica and Rome, NY, you may also find yourself asking, “Is this the year that my air conditioner will break down?” Choosing when to replace your air conditioner can be difficult, especially as your air conditioner starts to need the occasional repair. Is a repair going to add years of life to your unit, or is your unit going to break down within just a couple of months of making that repair?
Fortunately, knowing a thing or two about how long air conditioners last can help you decide when it’s time for AC replacement.
The Typical Lifespan of an Air Conditioner
How long your air conditioner lasts largely depends on how often you use it. An air conditioner in the Deep South, for example, may last about 10 to 15 years with frequent use, while an air conditioner in a colder climate like that of Utica or Rome, NY may last up to 20 to 25 years.
That said, there are a number of factors that can shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner. For example, although you should schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner once every year (preferably in the spring), many homeowners forego this yearly maintenance. As a result, their air conditioners don’t last nearly as long as they should. Other factors like incorrect installation or improper unit sizing can also shorten an AC unit’s lifespan.
Here in the Utica and Rome, NY areas, we tend to see air conditioners last between 10 and 20 years.
How to Make Your Air Conditioner Last Longer
Get regular AC maintenance
If you want to make your air conditioner last as long as possible, we recommend scheduling regular AC maintenance. Again, one tune-up per year — preferably in the spring — is generally best. During the tune-up, an air conditioning technician will clean your AC unit and make optimizations to keep it running efficiently. Plus, that yearly tune-up also gives your technician an opportunity to catch any minor issues before they become major issues.
Schedule repairs as needed
At the first sign of trouble, be sure to schedule an air conditioning repair. Booking a smaller repair early on may end up minimizing the need for an extra costly cooling repair.
Don’t Wait for Your Air Conditioner to Break Down Completely
All that said, keep in mind that an air conditioning repair is not always the best route for a failing AC unit. An older air conditioner can quickly drain your wallet by requiring several costly repairs and driving up your energy bills. We’ve seen a number of Utica and Rome homeowners replace their air conditioners long after the ideal time, ultimately spending much more than they needed to on home cooling costs.
If any of the following scenarios applies to you, it may be a good idea to replace your air conditioner:
Energy bills have risen by more than 10% since last summer
Air conditioner has been repaired twice or more in the last ten years
A repair costs more than 25% the cost of a new air conditioner
There’s a severe issue like a blown compressor or broken motor