If you recently moved to Florida, you might be surprised to learn that AC units live shorter lives here, especially near coastal areas. You may be even more shocked that it’s not because we use them nearly all year round.
Compared to inland southern states, our air has more humidity, salt, and sulfur. That doesn’t make it easy for these massive machines to run as smoothly as they can in drier climates far from shore.
So how long do air conditioning units last in Florida?
The short answer is 7 to 14 years. But there is a 7-year gap that needs more explanation. The truth is, there isn’t a clearcut answer to the question, “How long does an air conditioning unit last?”
Why? Because there are too many factors involved. The good news is, these factors are controllable!
There are plenty of things you can do to give your AC the best chance it has to survive for as long as possible. Let’s review them.
What Factors Influence AC Unit Life Expectancy?
In the world of engineering, machinery has thousands of tiny parts. Wires, screws, pipes, gears, and more work together to make the magic happen. But when one or more of those parts fails to perform, it’s not unusual for the entire system to suffer.
Ideally, we want everything to remain in great condition forever, but that’s not practical. However, there are factors we can account for that lengthen or shorten an air conditioning unit’s life. From the first day, we choose our air conditioner up until its last years, we make decisions that help determine when our unit will bite the dust.
Type of AC Unit
When you browse an AC unit selection, it’s important to consider what type of air conditioning unit you will buy. The two most common air conditioning systems are mini-split and central air. The most significant difference between them is that a mini-split system has no ducts, while central air conditioning systems need a complete ventilation system (ductwork).
Although a mini-split system is fast and easy to set up in a ductless home, they don’t last as long. In subtropical climates like Florida, it’s common for a ductless mini-split system to fail after 7 to 12 years. This is a slightly shorter life expectancy than its full HVAC system counterpart which lives for 8 to 14 years on average.
Again, choosing your unit carefully is the ticket to a long and healthy life. If your unit is too large or too small for the space it’s cooling, not only will the efficiency of the unit suffer, but also its life expectancy.
When your AC is too small, it runs constantly. This wears down its parts prematurely and increases the risk that it will freeze up.
If your AC is too large, its cycles don’t last long, and neither does the cooling effect. This forces it to run in short bursts all day. Switching on and off so frequently also stresses the system and can cause parts to break much faster than those on an efficient AC unit.
Once you have decided on the type of AC you want and the right size, you should dig into the details. How long does the manufacturer protect their products?
Warranties are one of the most important pieces of security you own. It states exactly how long your air conditioning unit will last–guaranteed. If your equipment fails while it’s covered under a warranty, they will cover the cost of AC repair or replace the unit for you.
But for your unit to be protected, there are a few stipulations you need to stick to.
- Your AC unit must be installed by an HVAC professional who is certified by the manufacturer.
- The warranty must be registered right away. Your dealer or contractor may register your warranty for you, but not all of them do. When you have a new air conditioning unit installed, be sure to ask if the warranty was registered, and verify it.
- The HVAC system requires professional maintenance, again, by specialists certified by the manufacturer.
If parts are replaced, they have to be the right ones and they must be made by the same brand. The terms of service will also include details concerning how often your unit must be serviced to remain under warranty.
Speaking of maintenance, this is a big one. Even if you DIYed your AC installation, annual maintenance checks will ensure that your air conditioning unit is working exactly the way that it should be.
Action Air Conditioning technicians have a lengthy Precision Tune-Up Checklist that entails a long list of parts they meticulously inspect and clean.
Buy New Air Conditioning Units Near Me in Florida
If your AC is over 10 years old, you may need to replace it with a new one. But it’s not as simple as picking the best air conditioner in Tampa Bay. You need to consider how long air conditioning units last and what you can do to get the most out of your AC.
That involves finding certified experts who can help to size your AC properly and install it in the exact way that the manufacturer intended. You also need certified professionals who offer AC maintenance so your machine can remain under its warranty and perform efficiently.
Action Air Air Conditioning is certified to install Lennox systems. Visit our giant showroom in Tampa Bay and speak to a representative. We will carefully size and install your Lennox AC unit so that the cooling system reaches its maximum life expectancy.