How To Effectively Extend Your AC Unit’s Lifespan

A man extending the lifespan of an air conditioner in a room.

Air conditioners have become a necessity for every household, not only because of their provided comfort but also their importance in protecting people from heat-related problems. Thus, over three-quarters of all households in the U.S. have air conditioners. Furthermore, ACs help filter and circulate air, removing any potential pollutants and mold indoors. 

But like other things, air conditioners are not designed to last forever. The average lifespan of a well-maintained and properly installed air conditioner is between 12 to 17 years. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure you make the most of your AC unit’s lifespan and even extend its years of functional usage, such as:

1. Schedule regular AC unit maintenance 

You’ve probably heard this tip numerous times, but many homeowners still forget to do this for their AC units until such a time when it needs repair or replacement. Statistics report that only 42% of homeowners consult a professional for regular AC maintenance. However, the lack of maintenance can significantly reduce your AC unit’s intended lifespan. 

Neglecting AC maintenance can lead to a dysfunctional or inefficient system that causes higher energy bills and frequent system breakdowns. Thus, if you want your AC unit to last its full lifespan, you must schedule regular AC unit maintenance. 

This video explains the essential reasons and importance of scheduling an AC tune-up:

Routine maintenance and tune-ups allow the AC technician to detect and fix any potential problems immediately before they worsen or adversely affect your AC system’s performance. The fewer problems your AC has, the better and more efficient it will work in cooling your home. 

If you don’t have an assigned AC technician yet, now is the best time to hire one and have your AC checked. If you’re in Texas or anywhere nearby, you can find air conditioning company Huffman, TX services or other similar local companies that can maintain air conditioners.  

2. Inspect the airflow from the vents 

The AC system flows in a circular motion. First, the system obtains air through the vents, pumps it via the air ducts, and then releases it through the vents in every room. If one part of the circular flow is blocked or disrupted, the airflow slows down, forcing your AC system to work extra hard. 

Several things can disturb your AC’s airflow, such as air leaks from the ducts, blocked air registers, improper duct design, and more. To avoid those problems, you must have a professional inspect the airflow from the vents regularly. 

If you suspect airflow problems due to high energy bills, it may be best to call an emergency air conditioning repair Houston, TX, especially if you haven’t inspected the airflow in a long time. There could be underlying clogs or blockages in your vents you probably haven’t detected in a while that could compromise your AC’s lifespan.  

3. Change air filters regularly

Your air conditioner collects debris from the air to keep indoor air fresh and clean. But over time, your AC’s filters will eventually become full, which clogs your unit and makes it work extra hard. Not only that, but dirty filters full of dust and debris will end up being blown back into your home, polluting your indoor air.  

Unfortunately, about 29% of American households admit to never changing their AC’s air filter. A dirty and clogged filter can damage your AC system and lead to costly repairs or replacements. Additionally, it can shorten your AC’s lifespan.

Cleaning and changing the filters can help ensure your AC functions at its best. With newer and cleaner filters, you can guarantee that no dust, debris, or other allergens are circulated back to your home. You can also save on repair costs as your AC system won’t have to work hard with a new air filter. Furthermore, according to, replacing your AC’s clogged and dirty filters can lower energy consumption by 5% to 15%.  

4. Work with a licensed and qualified AC technician  

A man and woman learning how to effectively extend their AC unit's lifespan.

The moment you buy a brand-new air conditioner, the first step to ensuring you maximize its lifespan is hiring a licensed and qualified AC technician to install it properly. An AC unit comprises a complex combination of mechanical and electrical parts that must only be handled by a licensed AC technician

5. Keep the AC’s outdoor unit clean and free from obstruction 

Extending your AC’s lifespan isn’t only about taking care of it from the inside, but it also includes taking care of its exterior. As much as possible, your AC’s outdoor unit must have at least two feet of free and clear space. 

If you have any trees, shrubs, or potted plants nearby, trim or move them out so they won’t obstruct and potentially damage your unit. Otherwise, when tree roots or vines start growing over your AC’s outdoor unit, the entire system will suddenly malfunction and shorten its lifespan. 


An AC’s lifespan is dependent on how homeowners properly care for and maintain their AC unit. No matter what type, brand, or model of AC you have, you can follow these tips to maximize your air conditioner in its best function. Most importantly, don’t forget to work with licensed professionals to help keep your AC running perfectly.

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