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How Long Should an Air Conditioner Last in Texas? A San Marcos Tech Answers

June 03, 2020

air conditioning san marcos, tx

According to Energy.gov, a central AC has a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. That being said, if your AC is neglected or overworked, it probably won’t last as long as it was intended to, and could give out before the 15-year mark.

The most common factors that will determine how long your AC lasts include:

  • Sizing
  • Usage
  • Maintenance

In this blog, we’ll walk you through each of these factors and how they can affect the lifespan of your air conditioner.

Want an AC tech to properly maintain and extend the life of your AC? Or think your AC is nearing the end of its life? Whether you need a simple maintenance visit or a complete AC replacement, we’re always happy to help!

Factor #1: Proper sizing

If your AC is too large or too small for your home, it will likely have a shorter lifespan than intended. Why?

An undersized AC will work constantly to cool your home but will never be able to meet the demand. This constant running puts a huge strain on your AC system, shortening its lifespan.

An oversized AC, on the other hand, will be able to meet demand but will do it too quickly. This leads to a constant on-and-off pattern called short cycling. Even though this may not sound like a problem, turning and off constantly can also lead to a shortened AC lifespan and/or premature failure.

Factor #2: Usage

Nothing wears out your AC system like overusing it, especially when you’re not home.

So what do we mean by “overusing” your AC system?

Well, your AC system is designed to cool your home, but if you set your thermostat too low compared to the outdoor temperature, you can overwork your system. The smaller the difference between the indoor temperature and the outdoor temperature, the smaller your energy bills.

For example, during the summer when it’s 100°+ outside, setting your thermostat to 65° will push your AC to run longer and harder than it’s designed to.

To prevent overuse, keep your thermostat set at a reasonable temperature while you’re home (for example, for super hot days don’t set your thermostat lower than 78°).

You should also consider increasing the temperature when no one is home, this gives your AC and your wallet a break. In fact, according to Energy.gov, setting your thermostat back 7-10° for 8 hours or more a day (i.e. while your family is at work or school) can save you 10% on your energy bills.

Factor #3: Maintenance

Keeping your AC regularly maintained is essential to extending its lifespan.

By having a professional maintain your AC system annually, you can detect problems before they become too serious, which can ultimately extend the life of your AC system.

Some of the maintenance tasks that an HVAC professional should conduct include:

  • Checking refrigerant levels
  • Cleaning the evaporator coil
  • Checking the fan motor
  • Inspecting ductwork for leaks
  • Lubricating the blower motor
  • Inspecting the condensate line
  • Testing the thermostat

In addition to professional maintenance, a few things you can do to keep your system healthy between scheduled visits, include:

  • Replacing the air filter - A clogged air filter restricts airflow to your AC system and ductwork, causing your AC to work harder to properly circulate air throughout your home.
  • Clearing away any debris around the outdoor unit - Every so often, inspect your outside unit for any debris. Remove any leaves/weeds from around the unit, allowing for about 2 feet of clear space, so the unit has plenty of room to function as needed.

Looking to extend your AC’s lifespan? Leave it to us!


If you wish to keep your AC maintained and in good health, reach out to our team for accurate estimates on AC tune-ups and maintenance plans. No games. No gimmicks. Just Reliable.

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