How to Tell When an Air Conditioner Isn’t Worth Repairing

Old battered air conditioning vent.
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Even the best products have a limited lifespan. Your air conditioner is no exception. While regular maintenance extends the life of your unit, there comes a point where individual part replacements simply aren’t enough. As your unit ages, the cost of maintaining it will eventually outweigh the cost of a new machine. The trick is to spot the end of your air conditioner’s usefulness before it costs you more than you can afford.


Unfortunately, air conditioning systems don’t last forever. Most estimates place the lifetime of the average unit between ten and fifteen years. Those estimates depend on average seasonal use, however. That means how often you run your air conditioning and the settings you use extend or shorten the unit’s lifespan. If you hardly ever use of air conditioning, it may not suffer from the expected amount of wear and tear that created the professional estimates we mentioned. On the other hand, if you use your air conditioner more than the average homeowner, you will need to replace it sooner than you may expect. Regardless of usage, your air conditioning unit will inevitably age to some degree, and as it gets older, repairs become more expensive.

Number of Repairs

At the beginning of your unit’s lifespan, repairs are a much cheaper option than financing an entirely new unit. However, the cost of repairs will quickly outweigh the price of a new machine as your unit ages. Major systems become more likely to fail with age, and as new models come on the market, finding parts for older units becomes increasingly difficult. Each of these factors increases the cost of repairs. Paired with the fact that aging machines require more repairs, once your air conditioning unit begins to fail, it will grow steadily more expensive to maintain.

Notable Inefficiency

Even when your air conditioning is working, you may find your home is not as cool as you remember. Near the end of its lifespan, your unit will struggle to meet the same standards it used to. This may mean it cannot run for long periods without overheating, or it may fail to get your home’s interior as cool as you would like. In either case, these symptoms are signs that your air conditioner has passed its prime. If you believe your air conditioner is no longer working efficiently, test the thermostat settings with separate thermometers around your home. You may find that rooms farthest from the air conditioning unit are hotter than they should be. As the unit degrades, rooms closer to the unit grow increasingly hot as well.

How you use your air conditioner will impact how long it lasts, but wear and tear are inevitable. Pay close attention to the age of your machine. If it needs frequent repairs, and it’s older than ten years, you may want to look into a replacement. Once your unit stops doing what it was designed to do, you have another sign that it’s time to stop the repairs. At Great Dane Heating and Air, we believe that your experience should be worry free. If it’s time to upgrade your unit, contact us today at (866) 488-3263.

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