< Back to Blog

How Long Will My Air Conditioner Last?

Kansas City endures very hot weather from June to August. While outdoor temperatures may be out of your control, air conditioning helps you stay comfortable all day long. If you’ve had your AC system for a few years, you may be wondering how much life it has left. In determining the lifespan of your cooling system, consider the factors that affect how long your air conditioner will last, when it’s time to replace it, and the benefits of installing a new unit.

Ready to replace your air conditioner? Contact Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today!

Typical Lifespan of Air Conditioners

You can expect your air conditioner to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. This lifespan of your central AC unit depends on equipment quality, usage, and maintenance and upkeep.

Equipment Quality

Some AC systems are built to last (especially newer models), while others are may be cheaper quality that tempt you with their low prices. The best way to ensure you invest in dependable equipment is to choose an ENERGY STAR rated model. Not only are these systems built more reliably, but they consume less energy than baseline models and save you money each month with high-performance cooling.

Hours of Use

If you keep the thermostat at 70 degrees all summer long, your air conditioner must work harder and run longer to achieve the target temperature. On the other hand, if you strive to conserve energy by keeping the thermostat at 76 degrees and dressing for the season, the number of hours the air conditioner runs per month is drastically reduced. By using your air conditioner less, you encourage a longer lifespan.


This is a big one. Without regular AC maintenance and inspection, important components start to wear out, certain parts gather dirt, and efficiency plummets. Just like your car, you need to keep on top of air conditioner maintenance to help you catch problems early and prevent an expensive breakdown. Well-maintained systems last years longer than neglected ones. We recommend scheduling an AC inspection and tune-up each year in the spring before the hotter months roll into the Kansas City region.

Repair or Replace?

If your current air conditioner breaks down and it’s more than 10 years old, you may be wondering if it’s worth repairing or if it’s time to replace the whole system. In addition to the age of the unit, take these other factors into consideration to help you decide:

  • Energy bills: If your bills are climbing with each successive year, rising energy rates or hotter outdoor temperatures could be partly to blame. Of course, your air conditioner could also be dropping in efficiency, meaning more energy is required to keep your home comfortable.
  • Comfort problems: With age, air conditioners lose the ability to dehumidify your home effectively. They also struggle to keep the whole home at an even temperature from room-to-room.
  • Refrigerant leaks: These leaks are repairable, but because of the R-22 refrigerant phase-out, the repair could be far more expensive than you bargained for. A refrigerant leak could be the excuse you need to upgrade to a new unit that runs on more environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant.

When deciding whether to repair or replace your older air conditioner, it’s recommended to talk with a licensed technician from a local HVAC company.

Benefits of Installing a New Air Conditioner

If you decide to replace your existing air conditioner, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits from your upgrade:

  • Lower energy bills: The greater efficiency of a newer cooling system starts to pay for itself on day one.
  • More environmentally friendly: The ability to keep your home comfortable with less energy is good news for the environment, as is the more eco-friendly refrigerant found in new air conditioners. Many new models also have the ENERGY STAR label—indicating that they are more energy efficient (and environmentally friendly) than the average model on the market.
  • Improved comfort: With a properly sized, perfectly functional air conditioner, you can expect every room to be more comfortable from one season to the next.

If you’re ready to replace your air conditioner and you live in the Kansas City metro area, the experts at Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing are here to help. Contact us today to get the installation process started for replacing your old air conditioner.

Learn more about our air conditioner services in Kansas City »