With the summer heat, a window air conditioner can make your home or office a comfortable haven.
However, like any other machine, air conditioners have a life expectancy. In this guide, we’ll explore how long window air conditioners last, ways to make them last longer, signs of needed maintenance, and when it’s time to replace your unit.
How Long do Window Air Conditioners Last?
The average lifespan of window air conditioners is about 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance. This lifespan can vary based on factors such as the type of air conditioner, usage habits, local climate, and how well the unit is cared for.
5 Ways to Make a Window Air Conditioner Last Longer
1. Regular Maintenance: This includes regular tune-ups by a professional HVAC technician who can detect and repair any issues before they escalate.
2. Cleaning the Air Filter: A dirty air filter restricts airflow, causing your unit to work harder and wear out faster. Regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter can improve air quality and prolong the life of your window units.
3. Proper Thermostat Settings: Smart thermostats help maintain consistent temperatures, which avoids overworking the unit.
4. Protecting the Outdoor Unit: Covering the outdoor unit during periods of extreme weather or inactivity can prevent damage and extend the unit’s life.
5. Checking for Refrigerant Leaks: A refrigerant leak can significantly reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner unit, leading to higher energy bills and potential damage to the unit’s components.
What Causes Window Air Conditioners to Break?
Several factors can cause window air conditioners to break. These include neglecting regular maintenance, a dirty air filter, a refrigerant leak, a malfunctioning thermostat, or a damaged evaporator or condenser coil.
5 Signs Your Window Air Conditioner Needs Maintenance
1. Poor Cooling Performance: If your unit is not cooling your room effectively, it may need maintenance.
2. Increased Energy Bills: A sudden increase in energy costs could indicate a problem with your air conditioner’s efficiency.
3. Strange Noises: Any unusual sounds from your unit could signal a mechanical issue.
4. Unpleasant Odors: Musty smells could suggest mold or mildew growth inside your unit, requiring cleaning.
5. Frequent Cycling: If your air conditioner frequently turns on and off, it may need a tune-up.
Can You Leave Your Window Air Conditioner on 24/7?
While you can technically leave your window air conditioner running 24/7, it’s not recommended as it can shorten the lifespan of the unit, increase energy costs, and potentially cause the unit to overheat.
When to Take Out a Window Air Conditioner?
Window air conditioners can be removed or covered during colder months when they’re not in use. This can help protect the unit from harsh weather and prolong its lifespan.
Best time to Buy a Window Air Conditioner?
The best time to buy a window air conditioner is during the cooler months. During the off-season, many retailers offer discounts on air conditioners, so you can get a good deal.
How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner?
To clean a window air conditioner:
- Remove the filter and wash it in warm soapy water.
- Clean the evaporator and condenser coils using a coil cleaner.
- Remove dust from the unit and vents using a vacuum cleaner.
- Clean the water pan to prevent mold growth.
- Reassemble the unit and reinstall it in your window.
Is it Worth Repairing a Window Air Conditioner?
Whether it’s worth repairing a window air conditioner depends on the repair cost and the unit’s age. If the unit is near the end of its average lifespan or the repair cost is about half the cost of a new unit, it’s more cost-effective to replace it.
With regular maintenance, a window air conditioner can last for many years, providing a comfortable, energy-efficient way to cool your space.
However, it’s essential to be aware of any signs that your unit may need maintenance or replacement to ensure it runs efficiently and to avoid higher energy bills.
And remember, even the most well-maintained air conditioner has a lifespan, so consider the age and efficiency of your unit when deciding whether to repair or replace.