Is it even summer if you haven’t got your window AC unit out?
Window air conditioning units are what make the difference between a dreamy summer night and a muggy nightmare. However, they can often be a big investment. We understand that you want these units to last as long as possible.
Thankfully there are a few tricks you can use to extend the lifespan of your machine.
However, you may be wondering, How long should I expect my window air conditioner to last?
Whether you’re wondering how long your current window AC has left in it, or you’re looking for a new air conditioner – knowing the lifespan of the appliance is really important.
In this article, we’ll be talking about the average lifespan of a window air conditioner, how to tell when they need to be replaced, and what you can do to improve the lifespan of your window air conditioner.
The average window air conditioner in the US lasts between 15-25 years, with some giving up the ghost after only a few years, and others making it into their 30s.
Portable AC units have a lot shorter lifespans – these poor fellas only last between 3-10 years.
The life expectancy of air conditioners depends on a few factors, some of which you can control (find out more below), and others that are out of your hands.
The quality of the machine’s production is the major contributing factor to its lifespan, the quality of the air in your area also affects this. If the machine is badly built, or you live in a dusty or damp area your machine will most likely have a shorter life.
Machines that are well-rated by Energy Star will have a longer average lifespan.
How to Know When It’s Time to Move On (from your AC)
Not all window air conditioners are made equal.
However, there are so universal signs that it’s time to retire your beloved AC unit. Here are a few things to check when your machine slows down.
The Weather Stripping
The first thing to do is to check that the Weather Stripping (the seal on your AC) is still tight. Often the Weather Stripping is the first thing to go on a Window AC unit.
If it becomes too loose it will let warm air from outside into the system and start pumping that straight into your home. The Weather Stripping is something that can be replaced.
If your window air conditioner unit isn’t cooling properly check its refrigerant levels (freon in the AC).
Older units can often develop refrigerant leaks, if these go on for too long they can damage the rest of the machine or even cause health issues. However, if you catch them early enough they can be repaired.
If there is a problem with either your compressor or your condenser then you will notice that your AC unit will no longer provide you with cool air.
These parts can often be replaced – although, sometimes doing this can be more expensive than getting a whole new unit.
How to Live Longer (if You’re a Window AC)
However, there are a few things you can do to extend the lifespan of your window air conditioners.
We’ve put together four lists of things you can do to help your window AC last longer.
These four categories are Temperature, Size, Care, and Storage.
Keep reading to find out how you can extend the life of your window air conditioner.
One of the biggest misconceptions about window air conditioner units is that by running them at the coldest setting you’re keeping them cool. And they will last longer if you keep them cool.
Unfortunately, this is very wrong.
On the coolest setting, your machine is working at its hardest. Constantly pushing your machine to its limits will cause it to overheat. All the parts of your machine will wear out faster.
To get a longer life out of your window air conditioning unit try to avoid using it at its highest setting. If you must only do so for a short while, otherwise using two or three settings below the max will help avoid burning out the parts inside your AC unit.
We would also recommend spending some time to find the best place to install your window AC unit. It is best to install it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. An AC unit can get too hot if kept in direct sunlight and that can cause further damage.
When picking a window AC unit look for one that comes with a good EnergyStar rating (higher than 4 stars), these machines will have an increased lifespan.
A huge factor in the lifespan of your machine is whether or not you got the right size window air conditioner for your room.
What we mean by that is, is the air conditioner you purchased big enough for the room that you installed it in? If it’s too big, this is not an issue. If it is too small, however, that can cause a lot of problems.
If the room is too big for the window air conditioning unit then your machine will end up working too hard. This means it’s likely to overheat and damage its inside parts.
To extend the lifespan of your window air conditioner make sure to measure your room before purchasing, so you can pick a size appropriate model.
One of our top tricks for getting the longest lifespan out of your window AC unit is to make the most of its warranty. Take the manufacturer up on their warranty offer, get them to solve any small issue before the warranty expires. These small issues may turn into bigger problems along the line.
Your heart is going to sink when you see this next one, but we wouldn’t include it if it wasn’t essential… You should be cleaning your window air conditioner regularly.
Dirt and dust build-up puts a huge amount of strain on your machine. A clogged filter puts extra strain on every part of the machine, so clean or replace the filters regularly.
To get a better idea about the state of your machine we recommend getting professional maintenance done on your machine twice a year – before and after summer.
This way you can catch any issues before they escalate, and the professional can give you a better idea about how you should be using your machine.
Using these tips you will be able to extend the life of your window air conditioner.
Our final tip is to put your AC way when you don’t need it. This is most important during the winter months when the weather can cause serious problems with your AC unit.
AC units, particularly window units aren’t designed to function in freezing temperatures. The refrigerant tank can crack, causing damaging leaks. Often the cooling coil can suffer damage if it becomes too cold, it can become brittle and snap.
Heavy rain and winds can also cause a lot of damage to window AC units, as they are not designed to deal with those types of weather conditions. Water damage can significantly shorten the lifespan of your window AC.
The help you window AC unit avoid these sad fates when you no longer need to use the AC take it out of the window. At this point, you should have a professional check it out for any faults. After this is done, give it a deep clean and place it somewhere safe and dry for the winter.
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