How Old Is Old? Determine The Lifespan Of Your Air Conditioner In Florida

Our talented technicians say they are often asked how long an air conditioner’s lifespan is, but the answer isn’t as easy as setting your smart thermostat. According to the Energy Department, the average AC unit will last roughly 10-15 years. However, the actual longevity of your Old or Aged Air Conditioner will depend on several factors only you can determine. Factors vary from household to household, but your personal preferences and habits are the most significant contributing factors.

What Factors Play A Role In My Old Or Aged Air Conditioner Lifespan?

Wear & Tear

Daily usage, along with wear and tear from the weather, will play a role in how long your AC runs efficiently. While the average homeowner will need to replace their unit every 10-15 years, someone that doesn’t live in the same home year round or someone that rarely turns on the unit might get as many as 20-25 years out of the same system.


If your smart thermostat has ever shown you the dreaded “overcooling to dehumidify” message, you’re aware that humidity can be tricky for your AC. Overly humid homes and climates may cause your system to shift into overdrive, even if it’s not actively cooling your home. Extra humidity may cause your AC unit fan to kick on because the coils inside will attempt to absorb moisture from the air. That extra strain on the coils and fan can decrease your HVAC unit’s lifespan.

If you have a unit that is otherwise efficient but is overcooling to dehumidify, give us a call. Your home may need a whole home dehumidifier. A whole-home humidifier is a cost-effective solution to reduce moisture in your home. To learn more about IAQ products, schedule a consultation with a Comfort Advisor today.

Indoor Temperature Preference

If you are like most Floridians and prefer your AC to be ice cold and never give it a break, you’re putting a lot of strain on the unit. Keeping the temperature in your home extremely low forces the unit to work harder and increases your energy bills. The ideal temperature for your home thermostat for maximum efficiency and lower energy cost is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. (Hey, we don’t make the rules, the Department of Energy does.) The cooler you run your AC, the more strain you put on it, especially if you forget to give it a break. Not only does frigid air force your unit to work harder, but it also increases your bills.

Cleanliness & Care

It is imperative you take great care of your unit to ensure the longest life. Ensure the coils stay clean. Keep ductwork clear with an annual duct cleaning. Maintain proper distance from registers and handlers to ensure proper airflow. Forgetting to clean your unit may cause water leaks or your system to freeze up, and neither of those outcomes helps extend its life.

Helpful Tip: Check your system every three months when you are changing the air filters! Wipe debris away, check the ductwork, and ensure nothing is loose.

Preventative Maintenance Plans

In addition to checking it yourself, it’s always best to have a professional perform routine maintenance. Performing maintenance on an old or aged air Conditioner helps extend its life. We suggest a Platinum maintenance plan from J&W Heating and Air to keep your system efficient and affordable.

How Can I Tell If My Unit Is Aging Or Already Old?

Increased Energy Bills

As your unit ages, it becomes more expensive and less efficient. We utilize a unit of measurement to gauge lost efficiency called SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

Unpleasant Smells

Odd smells can be anything from mold and mildew to dust and pet dander. No matter the original cause, a little TLC can help prevent them in your old or aged air conditioner. Certain smells are harmful to you and your family and also indicate signs of significant damage. Burnt smells can signal wiring malfunctions, which is indicative of an aging unit. If you call a professional for a check-up and the smells do not go away, it may be time for an upgrade.

Loud Noises

Your AC unit should never squeal, grind, or grate on your nerves. If you hear loud, irregular noises, you should know something is wrong. Occasionally the noises are simple to stop, but others require a high level of technical skill to repair. This is when it’s time to call the experts at J&W Heating and Air.


Water damage and leaks may come from refrigerant leaks and the condensate line. Both are generally attributed to faulty AC components where parts may be blocked, broken, or old. Refrigerant leaks are harmful because freon is toxic. If you spot a leak, you should always call a pro, like the service team at J&W Heating and Air, to come out and diagnose the system.

How To Decide When To Replace Your Old Or Aged Air Conditioner Unit?

After diagnosing an issue with your AC unit, you may take steps to repair it yourself, or you might seek advice from an expert. Whichever route you choose, make sure to conduct a full inspection of the unit.

A comprehensive AC inspection includes:

  • Visual observation of all AC components
  • Full system performance test
  • Charge and system control tests
  • Leak test, using a leak detector, or dye

After a thorough inspection, you and your technician should have a complete picture of the severity of your AC issues. This is how you can decide if it’s more cost-effective to repair or replace your system.

Fortunately, technology has evolved in a way that makes HVAC equipment and systems last longer than ever and performs more efficiently than equipment of the past. In fact, the most efficient, modern air conditioners use 20 to 40 percent less energy than models made in the early 2000s. So, when it comes time to replace your outdated technology, it can actually be an opportunity for cost-savings for you as a homeowner.

Why Call an HVAC Pro for an Install?

If you decide it is time for a new system, you should always call a professional. We offer FREE estimates as well as second opinions on any other estimates you’ve received from another technician. Our team will send a comfort advisor to your home to evaluate every aspect including the size and age of your home as well as evaluate the ducting and insulation to determine the best air conditioner for your house. While you may “know a guy” only certified professionals can genuinely offer the best recommendation.

Repair or Replace?

Call the pros at J&W Heating and Air in Jacksonville, FL. J&W Heating and Air has served Jacksonville, Nocatee, Ponte Vedra, Orange Park, and other Northeast Florida communities since 1966. J&W Heating and Air is one of the last locally owned and operated HVAC companies in Jacksonville and St. Johns. The team at J&W Heating and Air is veteran-owned and operated and offers military and senior discounts. Same and next-day appointments are available as is financing should you need new air conditioning altogether.

How to Contact J&W Heating and Air

Our technicians are available after-hours and on weekends so that you can fit your air conditioning services into your busy, modern lifestyle. Call us today at (904) 595-9644 or schedule an appointment online right now.

Learn More About J&W Heating and Air

To see all the areas of Northeast Florida that J&W Heating and Air services, please visit our homepage or give us a call and let our friendly customer service team walk through the process today.

Want More Tips from the J&W Heating and Air Techs?

Sign up for the J&W Heating and Air Tips from a Tech Newsletter today by submitting your information below. You may include your email and/or your mobile number to receive updates via email or text messaging!

Sign Up For J&W Heating and Air Tips From A Tech Tuesday Newsletter

Sign up to receive a monthly email with helpful tips from an HVAC tech as well as exclusive savings and contests for J&W Heating and Air subscribers.

company icon