What is the typical lifespan of an air conditioner in your home?

If you’re a homeowner and you have had to purchase a new AC unit, or just had AC problems in the past, you have probably asked yourself at one point or another, “What is the typical lifespan of an air conditioner?” This is a good question. After all, a new air conditioner is a major investment for any homeowner, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

With proper maintenance from a King technician, the typical lifespan of an air conditioner can be more than 15 years!

A King air conditioning technician maintains an AC unit. With the right professional maintenance, you have the potential to extend the lifespan of your air conditioner.

The answer to this question can be a bit complex, but the good news is that, by choosing to work with a company like King that installs systems from a reliable manufacturer like Carrier, you can rest easy knowing they have spent a lot of time testing and improving their units for lasting reliability.

Realistically, an air conditioner’s lifespan can vary widely for several different reasons. In this article, we’ll discuss all of the factors that play a role in the life expectancy of your AC unit. With adequate upkeep and proper maintenance, you can expect a new system to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years.

What are the factors that influence the lifespan of an air conditioner?

Just like your car, you’ll need to perform regular tune-ups and maintenance on your HVAC system. Some people think that once the unit stops working for the first time, and it’s no longer under its warranty, that it’s time for a new one. Another person might put in money to make the repairs, even if they cost a lot, to keep the system running for a few additional years. This decision plays a significant role in determining how long an AC unit lasts.

Beyond maintenance, some of the other factors that play into the lifespan of your system include:

  • Proper installation
  • Amount of month-to-month wear-and-tear and personal comfort settings within your home
  • Climate factors, such as extreme cold or high humidity
  • Air quality factors (salty sea breeze or other corrosives in the air)

How often is your unit being used?

It might be better to ask yourself, “how long do AC units last in my area?” Obviously, a unit that is used more than average will naturally go through more wear-and-tear compared to a unit that only runs for half the year. Here in the Chicago area, we deal with hot, humid summers, so your air conditioner will have to work hard to keep your home comfortable.

Personal preference plays a huge role here, too. If you decide to keep your AC set at 70 degrees all summer, that will require it to run much more frequently than the neighbors next door who keep their thermostat set at 78 degrees. Take this example and stretch it over 15 years, with similar maintenance schedules, and you’ll be able to see the huge difference in usage of each unit.

Are you keeping up with annual maintenance?

The number one rule with any piece of machinery is that preventative maintenance matters. When was the last time you had a professional come out and tune up your air conditioner? Do you regularly change the air filters? Do you clean the outdoor unit and keep dirt, debris, and leaves from clogging it up?

As you can expect, it is essential to keep up with this maintenance if you want to extend the life of your AC unit. It’s easy for a homeowner to inspect and replace an air filter every other month, no problem. But, scheduling a seasonal tune-up will allow the service technician to find smaller problems before they become big, breakdown-causing problems. At King, our technicians inspect things like the compressor, evaporator, condenser coils, the fan and motor parts, and the condensate drains. They will also be able to make the necessary adjustments and minor repairs that will improve performance and keep the system operating near peak energy efficiency.

What is your unit being exposed to?

Think about it: your air conditioner sits outside all day, every day, for so many years. It is exposed to the elements. And, depending on where you reside, it could potentially be taking a beating. Here in Chicago, for example, our air conditioners are exposed to freezing temperatures during the winter.

To protect and help extend the life of your outdoor unit, you can have a professional clean the coil regularly to make sure it is free of dirt and other potentially corrosive debris. You can also go and remove any leaves, pine needles, mulch, or trash that accumulates in the unit as well. Just be careful and make sure the air conditioner’s fan is off while you do these things.

Call King for all of your HVAC needs in Chicago

These are just a few factors that influence the overall lifespan of your AC unit. At King, our team can help keep your air conditioner on-schedule with regular tune-ups and be on call when you need us for an emergency repair. To schedule an appointment, call us today!

What impact does water pressure have on your home?

Did you know that most people use between 80 and 100 gallons of water every day? From using the restroom and showering to cooking and cleaning, your water usage is a crucial part of your daily home routine. Here are just a few daily tasks most homeowners do without thinking, and the corresponding amount of water it takes to complete them:

  • Flushing a toilet: 1-3 gallons per flush
  • Showering: 17 gallons per shower (8-minute average shower)
  • Dishwasher: 4-6 gallons per cycle
  • Washing machine: 5-30 gallons per cycle, depending on your machine’s efficiency

This doesn’t take into account washing your hands, taking a bath, or watering your lawn. Your water use may also skyrocket during the summer, when you’re drinking more water or cooling off in the sprinklers. Taking all this into account, it’s crucial that your water systems are working at their full capacity. Your water heater delivers hot water to your home, and your water pressure needs to be sufficient for your appliances to work and for your showers to be comfortable. For all your daily tasks to run smoothly, water pressure is especially important. Imagine not having enough water pressure to flush a toilet or take a shower. There are other consequences to having water pressure that is too high.

To get your water pressure checked and adjusted by a professional, call the team at King Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing in Chicago, Illinois. We’re the experts on all home systems and can make sure your home is running at 100% capacity.

Low water pressure

It’s been a long day at work, and you want to come home, take a hot shower, and relax with the family. You turn on the shower to see a small stream of water—or droplets—‚coming from the shower head. Even when you turn the shower handle to full capacity, only a small amount of water drips out. What’s the problem?

Your water pressure is likely too low. This can be an annoying setback for many homeowners, who depend on high water pressure to shower, clean, cook, and more. How can you properly shower or wash your hands when only a few drops are coming out of the faucet?

Water pressure impacts how much water comes out of your home's shower heads.

High water pressure may make for a refreshing, fast shower, but too high of water pressure can put additional stress on your pipes and water heater.

High water pressure

On the opposite side of the water pressure spectrum, high water pressure can pose a danger to you and your family inside the home. When water pressure is too high, pipes can become damaged and systems can overwork themselves to bring that water to you. It’s just like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you don’t want your water pressure too low or too high—you want it just right.

Low water pressure is usually just a nuisance to homeowners and doesn’t pose a serious problem. High water pressure, on the other hand, can damage fixtures, seals, joints, and more. Water pressure that’s too high can also waste a lot of water in the home, leaving you with a higher utility bill at the end of the month.

Getting to comfortable water pressure

As it comes from the municipal water supply to your home, residential water generally ranges from 40 to 80 PSI (pounds per square inch). Anything above or below this range could be considered too low or too high. Some experts will say that any level above 60 PSI is too high of water pressure for your home. It’s best to speak with a professional plumber to get your water pressure checked and to learn more about what level is right for your home. Your PSI range can be affected by elevation, house size, water needs, age of your home, and other factors.

If you haven’t checked your water pressure level in a while, it may be time to call King for a free plumbing inspection. Even if you feel your water pressure and water heater are working great, there could be hidden efficiency problems lurking underneath the surface, such as a water heater that is running too hot and wasting energy. Only a true plumbing professional can get to the bottom of the issue and help you save money, month-over-month.

Call a trusted plumber today

A friendly and trustworthy plumber can test your water pressure, tell you the level it is at, and properly adjust it to fit within the recommended “Goldilocks” range. The team at King Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing has been in the plumbing business for decades and our plumbers have seen and fixed it all. We can dispatch a plumber to your home, diagnose the problem, and find a solution in no time. To get your water pressure checked or to schedule a plumbing repair, call today for a free plumbing inspection.