Many variables help determine the lifespan of an air conditioning system, especially in Florida. It’s not a difficult question to address. But there isn’t a definitive answer either, if that makes sense. The longevity of air conditioning units and HVAC systems as a whole can vary based on factors like type of AC unit; size of the unit; who the manufacturer is; how often it’s used; the environment it operates in; and of course, how well it’s been maintained. The typical answer in Florida (if all goes well) is approximately 10-15 years, but it could last up to 20 years or more.
Of course, the climate in the Sunshine State has a lot to do with the lifespan of an AC unit. After all, an air conditioner (aka condenser) in Florida is exposed to hot, humid weather. And of course Florida is no stranger to severe storms like hurricanes and thunderstorms, which also come into play. If you live in a coastal area, add exposure to salt and sulfur into the mix. So how long does an air conditioner last in Florida? The climate you chose to live in certainly works against its lifespan.
We’ve said it a million times and we’ll say it again: maintenance matters! It could mean the difference between an air conditioner that lasts 20 years and one that craps out after 10. A well maintained air conditioning system has been cleaned regularly, had seasonal tune-ups performed annually, and had its air filters changed often.
Summertime heat in Florida takes the biggest toll on an air conditioner. And whether you live in Florida or not, the Sunshine State is notorious for its searing heat and intolerable humidity. If you've been negligent with having routine maintenance performed, don’t be surprised if your air conditioner dies before it hits the age of 10!
Air conditioning systems in Florida are used twice as much as those found in cooler states. So if you’re lucky, your AC system will live past the decade mark. And we’ve also mentioned before that an air conditioner that’s 10 or older is no longer considered energy efficient by today’s standards. Additionally, if your AC system runs on the soon-to-be-phased out R-22 refrigerant, you’re going to have to replace it anyway.
Remember too that if your air conditioner is not receiving regular service, it has to work harder and use more energy to do its job. And the harder it has to work, the faster it will lose efficiency and experience wear-and-tear. Much like a dental cleaning to prolong the life of your teeth, a good rule of thumb is to have one AC maintenance performed every 6 months. This goes a long way toward extending the lifespan of your AC system in Florida. And again, something as simple as replacing the air filters at least every 3 months is something you can do yourself to help prolong the life of your investment.
Another thing you can do yourself to prolong the life of your air conditioning system is to keep the outside condenser clear of debris. If you have shrubbery or anything else blocking your outside unit, it may shorten its lifespan. Doing your due diligence and keeping up to date with the care of your air conditioner conditioner is the best way to ensure its longevity.