How long is a window air conditioner good for?

People who wonder how long a window AC unit will last are typically planning to buy a new unit or preparing for a replacement.

Most of the household appliances in homes are designed to work until a certain point. The frequent usage of appliances results in the process of wear and tear that decreases the operating longevity of an appliance and over time, the appliance runs its course.

The same applies with air conditioning systems. Certain AC units are built to last a certain number of years, depending on how the unit has been maintained, amongst other factors. If you have a window air conditioner, how long can you anticipate it lasting you?

The longevity of window AC units

All air conditioner appliances eventually get to a point where they no longer perform as well as they used to. This is because as time goes on, the unit starts experiencing wear and tear and its lifespan slowly decreases.

When you first shop for an air conditioner, the one thing you may ask is how long you can expect the window unit to last before it gives in, and you will likely be given an average lifespan estimate.

How long is a window air conditioner good for?

Either you want to buy a new window air conditioner or you have had one for the past 10 to 20 years and are wondering if you should start considering replacing it. Either way, window air conditioners are designed to last an average of 10 to 25 years, at the most.

It is important to note that the longevity of a window air conditioner is determined by a few factors, one of the biggest factors being how well the air conditioner was maintained throughout the years it was used.

Sometimes, depending on how well a window AC unit was looked after, its lifespan may be less than 10 years or can even exceed the 20-year mark.

As long as a unit has been and is being well-maintained and is functioning well overall, it will last as long as it should. Of course there may be times where a unit malfunctions for no reason, which is beyond anyone’s control, but this rarely happens.

If you are a new window air conditioner buyer, you may want to know how you can guarantee a positive and durable lifespan for your unit, while owners of older units may need to know what to look for when it is time for a replacement.

How maintenance improves the air conditioner’s lifespan

Your window AC will reward you for maintaining it. This should not be much of a hassle because window units require less regular maintenance than other types of units. Maintenance can be done annually by a licensed HVAC professional, even twice a year can do the unit good.

Parts like the air filters, the evaporative and condenser coils, and the refrigerant need attention to ensure they are not dirty and restricting airflow, and with regards to refrigerant, that there are no leaks or signs of pending leaks.

How to know when it is time to replace an older window unit

You will know it is time to replace your window air conditioner when you reach a point where repair costs are becoming heftier than the price of investing in a new unit.

Even with the proper care, when the unit has deteriorated as a result of wear and tear, it will start showing signs that it needs to be replaced. Some parts of the unit will be worn out and there will be a lot of dirt and debris accumulated on the internal parts.

Signs that it is time for a window AC replacement
Refrigerant has leaked or is leaking
Multiple leaking ducts
Drains are clogged
Motor is faulty
Gears have lost lubrication
Belts are worn out
Too much stubborn debris and filth
Fans no longer work
Compressor has failed

How to guarantee your new unit lasts longer

There are ways that you can keep your unit in good shape and set it up to potentially last as long as twenty years, or more. Choosing the right sized unit is crucial, as well as getting a window unit that is the right BTU size to cool the room effectively.

A unit that is the wrong size may struggle to work efficiently, resulting in increased wear and tear. You should also install your unit in an ideal location where it will stay cooler without having to increase the temperature.

To maintain or prolong the lifespan of the window unit, you should try to do the following:

How to maintain/prolong the lifespan of the window unit
Size correctly
Choose settings well
Winterise the unit in colder months
Ensure regular maintenance

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