Are you wondering how long your air conditioning system will last? The answer depends on the quality of the installation and the maintenance it receives. Generally, central air units can last between 12 and 17 years with regular use and proper upkeep. The size of the unit does not have an effect on its lifespan, unless it is not the right size for your home. Gas ovens usually last between 20 and 30 years, while oil furnaces tend to last only 10 to 15 years due to fuel inefficiency.
However, with proper maintenance, these systems can last much longer. The chemicals used in the system to cool and dehumidify the air, as well as the chemicals that the building materials of the house extract from the system, corrode the copper elements of the condenser and can cause them to erode and break. For instance, if you have a small 1.5-ton air conditioner trying to cool a house that really needs a 5-ton air conditioner, the unit will break down much faster due to overuse than a properly sized (but more expensive) unit. Typically, a furnace is replaced when the heat exchanger starts to leak, as it is one of the most critical and expensive components. Systems that are poorly maintained or have questionable quality can last as little as 10 years. Replacing air conditioning systems can be costly, so it's wise to plan ahead and save before you need to replace them.
Regular services and minor repairs can help extend the overall lifespan of air conditioning systems. This way, you can cover replacement costs when it's time.