How Long Do Central Air Conditioners Last?

How Long Do Central Air Conditioners Last?

When temperatures ramp up during the summer, there’s no place like home and the comforts provided by a properly functioning central air conditioning system.

But if your air conditioner is aging and not performing as efficiently as it once did, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioning unit. You’ll save money on your monthly energy bills and avoid the risk of your unit conking out on one of the hottest days of the year.

But how do you know exactly when it’s time to replace your current air conditioner? In our most recent blog, Schebler Heating and Air explains how long central air conditioners last and the signs you may want to replace your system.

What’s the Lifespan of a Typical AC System?

According to, the average lifespan of a central air conditioning system is about 15 to 20 years. But that’s just an “average” estimate, as there are several factors that determine how long your HVAC unit might last.

Air conditioners may need to be replaced much sooner than 15 years if regular maintenance was frequently skipped or you didn’t have repairs taken care of before they developed into serious issues.

Regular maintenance should be performed on air conditioners every year, preferably in the spring before you turn it on for the first time. During an AC maintenance tune up, an HVAC technician inspects all of the air conditioner’s parts and cleans necessary components. They can also identify small issues and make repair recommendations before they turn into something larger and more expensive to fix.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Aside from old age, there are several other factors that indicate you may need to replace your air conditioner soon, including:

Rising Energy Bills

If your cooling costs continue to rise – and it’s not just related to the outside temperature – your air conditioner is likely less efficient due to old age and wear and tear.

Humidity Issues

Aside from providing your home with cooling, air conditioners are also tasked with balancing indoor humidity levels. Indoor humidity levels should be within a 30-50% range, so if your home feels sticky and humid, it could be a sign your AC is struggling to lower humidity levels, and system replacement should be considered.

Lack of Cool Air

When air conditioners struggle to provide even air throughout your entire home, or it’s working overtime to cool your home to the set temperature, consider replacing your cooling system.

Loud Sounds or Foul Smells

Aside from the sound of your AC unit starting or stopping a cycle, air conditioners are relatively quiet. So the sudden sound of grinding, squeaking or rattling should raise the red flag. This could indicate a serious problem such as a broken or loose part.

Meanwhile, there are typically two types of odors that can spell trouble. The first is a mildew smell that can be caused by the presence of mold due to a leak somewhere in the system. An electrical or burning smell, on the other hand, could signal an electrical problem and should be inspected immediately.

Frequent Repairs

If you know the number of your HVAC company by heart because of all of the frequent repairs your air conditioner needs, consider putting that money toward the purchase of a new air conditioning unit.

Financing Options for Your New Air Conditioner

At Schebler Heating and Air, we understand the purchase of a new air conditioner is a big financial investment, and many homeowners do not have the money to pay for it all at once. That’s why we’ve proudly partnered with Wells Fargo to offer a Carrier credit card.

With approved credit, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Convenient monthly payments to fit your budget
  • Special promotional offers where available
  • Revolving line of credit that you can use for future purchases
  • Easy-to-use online account management and bill payment options

Contact Schebler for Air Conditioning Installation Services

We’re proud to be the oldest Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer in the Quad Cities. If you’re ready to replace your old, inefficient AC with a new Carrier model, contact us today to schedule an appointment to have your air conditioner installed.