How Long Do Home Air Conditioning Units Last?

Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, the lifespan of an air conditioning unit can vary greatly depending on the type, brand, amount of use and other factors.

With this in mind, we will look at these various factors and provide some average numbers depending on the type of AC unit.

This will allow you to estimate how long the aircon unit you currently own or are considering buying will last.

We will also look at some ways in which you can help prolong the life of your aircon unit to enjoy more use and comfort from your investment.

Types Of Home Air Conditioners & Their Lifespans

There are four main types of home air conditioners that we will be looking at in this article. They are as follows:

  1. Portable Conditioners.
  2. Window Air Conditioners.
  3. Wall Mounted Split Systems.
  4. Ducted Air Conditioning Systems.

It is also important to note that the below numbers are only averages and are subject to change depending on the size of your unit, the amount of use it gets, and how well you maintain it.

Many air conditioners will last much longer than these estimated lifespans with proper maintenance and care.

However, if they are neglected they may not even reach their average lifetime.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners are typically the least expensive however have the shortest lifespans.

This is because they are not as energy efficient which puts more strain on the components and requires more frequent maintenance.

Generally, you can expect a portable AC unit to last around 5-7 years.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners, tend to have a longer lifespan than portable AC units, but less than other types of AC systems.

On average, these window units last between 8 and 10 years with proper maintenance.

Wall-Mounted Split Systems

Often referred to as just Split Systems, these air conditioners are easily identified as the indoor unit sits high on the wall.

This type of aircon unit usually lasts around 10-15 years with proper maintenance.

Ducted Air Conditioners

Ducted AC units are considered to be the most efficient type of air conditioner and they also have a longer lifespan than other types.

With proper maintenance, ducted air conditioners can last up to 20 years or more.

Factors Affecting How Long Aircons Last

As mentioned, there are many factors that can affect how many or how few years your home air conditioner may last. The main factors are listed below.


Poor installation can reduce the life expectancy of an air conditioning unit.

This may be caused by poor placement of indoor and outdoor units which can result in reduced efficiency of the overall system.


AC units that are used more frequently typically will not last as long as those that are used less.

This is because there is more wear and tear on the machine resulting in require more frequent maintenance, part replacement and potential system failure.

This may be the case in large family homes where there is always someone home or for a home office setup.


Air conditioners work harder in extreme climates such as those with long hot summers.

In such environments, air conditioners must work harder during peak months and may need more regular maintenance or replacement sooner due to working more than those in less intense climates.


Just like a car, regular maintenance or lack thereof can dramatically impact how long an AC unit will last.

This includes checking filters and following other manufacturers’ recommendations as per the scheduled checkpoints.

How To Gain More Life From Your AC Unit

Home AC maintenance

Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring that your air conditioning unit lasts as long as possible.

Regularly checking and cleaning filters, making certain refrigerants are topped off, and having a licensed professional inspect the system on a yearly basis should all be part of your routine.

You should also replace air filters every 3 to 6 months, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you are planning on adding a new air con to your home it is imperative that you have it installed by a licensed AC installer.

As mentioned, poor installation can have a negative impact on the life expectancy of your home AC. So it is best to get it done right at the start.

By following these simple steps and taking good care of your unit, you can help add years to your AC unit’s life expectancy.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Unit

If you find that your air conditioner is no longer providing efficient cooling or if it is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it.

Technology changes fast and models that are more than 10 years old may not be anywhere near as efficient as today’s model.

Replacing an aging unit with a newer energy-efficient model can help you save money on your monthly energy bills and keep your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months.

Benefits of Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Replacing an older air conditioning unit with a new energy-efficient model has numerous benefits, such as:

Plus, newer models often bring more convenient ways to use them too such as WiFi control.

You can also get models with smartphone apps to allow you to check your energy usage and keep track of your maintenance. All of these things will help you add years of life to your aircon.


With proper care, your air conditioner should last you many years.

Regularly checking and cleaning filters, having a professional technician inspect the system on a yearly basis and replacing air filters every 3 to 6 months will all help you enjoy cool temperatures in your home for years to come.

Investing in a newer energy-efficient model can also help improve your cooling performance and efficiency while reducing your monthly energy bills.

So be sure to take the necessary steps in ensuring that your AC unit is well maintained and cared for, so you can enjoy a comfortable home all year round.

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