Do I Need A New Air Conditioner?

Do I Need A New Air Conditioner.When the peak of summer arrives with its scorching afternoon heat, nothing is more comforting than knowing you can retreat into your blissfully cool home. However, if your air conditioner has been around longer than you can remember, then it may be time to closely assess its dependability. Otherwise, a malfunction could result in a speedy, unexpected replacement which can lead to snap decisions, emergency-response fees, and a few unbearably hot days. To ensure this doesn’t happen, our Durastar experts are equipping you with a few tips to answer the question: Do I need a new air conditioner?

Although we recommend you turn to a licensed HVAC contractor to conduct a thorough inspection of your air conditioner, there are a few key indicators that your AC unit may be on its way out. If you keep a sharp watch for these warning signs, then you will have a better idea of when to replace your air conditioner.

What is the life expectancy of an air conditioner?

Generally speaking, older air conditioners last about a decade while newer models are expected to perform 15-20 years. This can give a broad indication of whether or not it is time to replace your unit. However, many factors influence the longevity of your air conditioner. For example:

Is your AC unit the right size for your home?

Surprisingly, it is not uncommon to find air conditioners that are improperly sized. Key reasons for this mismatch are:
1. Smaller air conditioners are often more cost-effective upfront. However, due to the need to overwork them to moderate the home’s temperature, utility costs increase and life expectancy can substantially decrease.
2. With some units lasting up to 20 years, it is highly plausible that home additions and renovations were not accounted for when the unit was originally purchased.

*Pro-tip! If you’ve had a recent home addition, consider installing zone-specific, ductless mini-split units. These compact and discrete systems offer individualized temperature control without the complexity of ductwork.

Do climate and environmental factors impact your AC unit?

A few environmental factors play a role in the life expectancy of your unit.
1. If you experience long, high-temperature summers, then it is likely you are demanding your unit to work harder (therefore adding wear and tear) compared to a home with moderate, short summers.
2. Some environmental conditions, such as ocean air, constant humidity, and windblown sand may reduce the lifespan of your outdoor HVAC equipment.

Do you get yearly inspections for your air conditioner?

Like most equipment, regular maintenance and inspection is a small cost that amounts to big savings; and in this case, an air conditioning unit that lasts longer. Simple maintenance such as clearing debris from the unit, changing filters, and scheduling annual inspections can add years of dependable service to your cooling system. Not to mention, it can optimize your cooling efficiency, reducing monthly utility bills.

Now that you have a general understanding of how long air conditioners last, you can likely determine if your unit is in its golden years or nearing its end. If you’re somewhere in between, don’t worry, some additional telltale signs will help notify you that it is time to replace your air conditioner.

*Pro-tip! If your air conditioner is relatively new and you’re experiencing a malfunction, be sure to check the specifics of your warranty. Some replacement parts and labor may be covered.

Is there a sudden spike in your electric bill?

If you notice an unexplained spike in your monthly utility bill, then it could be an indication that your air conditioner is no longer running efficiently. In fact, the unit may be working harder than usual in order to maintain the temperature you’ve set for your home. The harder it works, the more energy it needs, and subsequently, the higher your utility bill.

Does your AC unit use R-22 Freon?

This might seem like an odd and extremely specific question, however, it is an important one. Many older air conditioners use R-22 Freon; however, in 2020, the production and import of R-22 was banned because it negatively impacts the environment. As a result of the EPA passing this regulation, only recycled (and expensive!) R-22 is available for service. Now, if your unit does operate with R-22 Freon, you can continue using it, but it may be beneficial to begin budgeting for a replacement in case of a malfunction.


Unexpected air conditioner breakdowns usually deliver more than a few hot nights – they can be expensive, too. That is why it is important to perform regular maintenance as well as take notice of your air conditioner’s age, efficiency, and abnormalities. Then, you can be prepared to replace your AC unit before disaster strikes. Thinking about investing in a more efficient and reliable system but want to know more about that process? Check out another one of our helpful resources, I Need A New HVAC System – Now What?

When it comes to dependable temperature control, depend on Durastar. Our equipment is tested to perform and built to last. Get a complete HVAC system from Durastar and optimize your energy savings, peace of mind, and daily comfort.