Central Air Conditioner FAQs

How long do central air conditioning systems last?
There are many components of a central air conditioning system: In addition to the condensing unit and air handler or furnace, your home’s ductwork, insulation, piping, wiring, thermostat, windows and registers all have important roles in the proper functioning of your central air conditioning system. Generally, it’s the condensing unit that fails over time. Usually, the problem is simply a worn-out fan motor, burned-out capacitor, stuck relay or refrigerant leak. Most central air conditioning systems can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years.
How do I know when I need to replace my central air conditioning system?
Should I cover my outside condensing unit with a tarp for the winter?
How long do central air conditioning systems last?
There are many components of a central air conditioning system: In addition to the condensing unit and air handler or furnace, your home’s ductwork, insulation, piping, wiring, thermostat, windows and registers all have important roles in the proper functioning of your central air conditioning system. Generally, it’s the condensing unit that fails over time. Usually, the problem is simply a worn-out fan motor, burned-out capacitor, stuck relay or refrigerant leak. Most central air conditioning systems can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years.
How do I know when I need to replace my central air conditioning system?
It’s probably time to replace the central air conditioning system when the repair cost exceeds half the cost of replacing the unit. Or, if a new furnace/air handler is required, it may be more cost effective to replace the central air system at the same time. Also, newer systems are much more energy efficient than older systems so it can make sense to replace a unit that is more than 10 years old in order to save money on energy bills.
Should I cover my outside condensing unit with a tarp for the winter?
No, you should not use a tarp or other restrictive material to cover your condensing unit. Covering the unit entirely will restrict air flow and trap moisture, leading to problems.