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How Long Can an Air Conditioner Last?

Depending on different factors your air conditioner lasts from 12-20 years on average. The factors that will determine the lifespan of your air conditioner are:

  • The quality of the air conditioning installation
  • The quality of your air conditioner unit
  • The way you have been using your unit
  • The quality of the air conditioner maintenance

As you can see, the first thing you need to do is to pick a good air conditioner and have it installed by an expert. It is not legal or recommendable to do your own air con installation because you can increase the fire hazard in your home and surroundings.

Air Conditioner Lifespan
Central Air Conditioner System Split Air Conditioner System
12-15 years 15-20 years

You need a certified air conditioning installer and you will find the best one on Service Seeking. Don’t worry about the price of air con installation because you can ask for quotes even before you hire somebody to do this work for you.

Get air con installation quotes, discuss the job in question and talk to many professionals before you decide on one. Once you do, you will have your unit installed in a way that guarantees its longest possible lifespan.

Now, it is the question of the rest of the factors. Not all the air conditioners are the same. Moreover, not all the air conditioning systems are the same. Let’s start with the central air conditioning systems.

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

You can expect your central air conditioning system to last somewhere between 12 and 15 years. To ensure that it reaches it best possible lifespan, you need to be certain that its capacity matches the space that it cools.

Mismatching the capacity and the space means that the central air conditioning will work overtime and that will cause faster and more severe wear and tear. This usually happens when the system is too big for the space it is supposed to be cooling down.

The central AC works until the space is cooled down and then it automatically stops. Soon enough, when the temperature rises, it gets turned on. A powerful system used on a small space will, consequently, turn on and off all the time and that will be the end of it.

The first and the most expensive part to go will probably be the compressor. That is the part of the AC that suffers the most when the frequent on and off happens.

To make the most of your central AC system, find an expert that will help you choose the adequately sized unit and who will install it properly.

What Is the Life of Split System?

The split system air conditioners can last up to 20 years. On average, they are longer lasting than the central system air conditioning. How come? Two things:

  • Ductless system
  • Inverter technology

Besides the mismatched capacity of the system and the space it needs cooling, there are two other factors that can shorten the lifespan of this type of central system:

  • The dirt in the evaporator coils
  • The improperly sized air ducts

The evaporator coils that are dirty will get plugged up which means that will have to work extra hard. That always leads to early malfunctions and issues. The improperly sized air ducts put more pressure on the compressor and that’s what makes it break down.

Split system air conditioning doesn’t have these types of problems and that is why they last longer. They are ductless which means no issues with the air ducts and they have inverter systems (in most cases) which means that the compressor can vary in speed and that eliminates the “turn on turn off” problem.

How Long Does an AC Compressor Last?

The central system compressors last for about 10-15 years. You can expect those compressors in the inverter systems to last even longer.

Since this is one of the most expensive parts of your air conditioner, people rarely opt or replacing the compressors and usually replace the entire unit when the compressor dies.

During a decade, usually a more efficient and less expensive air conditioning devices are available so it makes little sense to repair the old one.

You can guess that your compressor is about to die on you when you start noticing the following signs:

  • Decreased cooling ability
  • Leaking and noises
  • Weak airflow
  • Reduced cycles

How to Extend Air Conditioner Lifespan?

If you want to make sure your air conditioner lasts for a long time, you need to make sure it has been installed by a professional and that you have used it properly. Here are some of the ways you can prolong its lifespan:

  • Maintain regular temperature
  • Change the filters every two months
  • Have a professional do the checkup every year
  • Keep it clean and dust-free
  • Choose a durable and high-quality air conditioner

As you can see, all these steps are actually there to help you enable the compressor and the condensators to work on their optimal lever without overbudening them.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace AC Unit?

If everything else fails, you need to replace your air conditioning system. Whether you have a central air conditioning system or a split system, replacing it will set you back anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 depending on several factors.

If you have a split system, your air conditioner can cost you anywhere from $600 to $2600 for an average system. You can definitely find cheaper and much more expensive options, but this is the average.

To this price, you need to add the cost of your air conditioner installer which can be anywhere from $60 to $90 per hour. For some jobs, 5 hours will be enough, while other can last up to several days.

Central air conditioning systems are much more expensive and they can be priced anywhere from $5000 up. There is a lot of ducts to be installed and a lot of work to be done. That’s why your air conditioning installation will be a significant sum.

If you are planning this investment, start by finding a good air conditioning installer to discuss your needs and your situation with them. They can suggest the best air conditioning system for you and give you an estimate about the hours of work that this installation will require.

Find the best quotes for air conditioner installation at Service Seeking since our website gathers the best experts from your area and beyond. They will readily answer all your questions and give you the correct quotes for your air conditioning.

We get jobs done. Get quotes from over 130,000 local businesses across Australia on

There are lots of local air conditioning services who can provide you with top-notch services. Take a look at’s highest-rated air conditioning specialists in these major cities:

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