How Long Does a Window Air Conditioner Last?

4 mins read
How Long Does a Window Air Conditioner Last?

Having window air conditioners, especially during summer, is very popular. I, for one, have my AC on almost the entire summer season.

However, because of constant use, we also decrease the lifespan of our AC. It depends on how durable the air conditioner is. So, the big question is how long does a window air conditioner last?

Depending on usage, maintenance, location, and storage, a window air conditioner typically lasts ten to 25 years.

Please find out the factors that affect a window air conditioner’s lifespan, why it breaks, and the tell-tale signs that it already needs maintenance from a professional.

What Affects How Long a Window AC Lasts?

What Affects How Long a Window AC Lasts?

As previously stated, your window air conditioner’s lifespan will depend on your use. You must consider four factors: setting, size, location, and maintenance. Let us take a look at each of these factors closely:


Most people set their window air conditioners to the highest, especially when scorching hot outside.

Should you do this?

The answer is no. You should not.

Try placing it in an ideal location instead of setting your window air conditioner to the highest.

Set up your window air conditioner away from direct sunlight; go for a shaded wall if possible. This way, you can minimize the heat of your air conditioner from too much exposure to the sun.

Also, try to set it where it will not get much snow or rain, as this can get inside your window AC’s parts over time and cause it to fail.


Next, consider the size of your window air conditioner.

Is it too small or too large for your room?

You give it too much work if the room is too large for your AC’s capacity. And like any other thing, having too much work means being worn out too soon.

BTU (British Thermal Units) measures an air conditioner’s power. Ideally, your AC should have a power of at least 8000 BTU for every 350 square feet.

Find out the size of your room before buying an air conditioner to decide what kind to purchase and if it would suit your needs.


After the setting and sizing, the next factor you have to consider is maintenance. How are you looking after your air conditioner?

Please note that the better you care for it, the longer its useful life is.

Ensure that your window AC receives annual professional maintenance, as licensed professionals can help you assess your unit thoroughly and pinpoint the factors that can shorten its lifespan.

Make sure to clean it whenever you notice it is blowing up warm air instead of cold or hear strange noises.

There might be some loose parts, or they might fill up with dust and debris, which is where the importance of regular and proper maintenance comes in.


Once we enter the colder months, it is time to winterproof your window air conditioner. Do not just leave it be – store it properly to ensure it will not remain exposed to freezing temperatures outside.

Heavy rain and excessive snow can damage your window air conditioner’s parts.

You have to unplug your AC, clean it thoroughly, and store it properly in an upright position somewhere safe and dry.

Also, cover it with something that can prevent dust and debris from getting inside its parts and store it where it will not be prone to kicks or bumps.

Why Do Air Conditioners Break?

Why Do Air Conditioners Break?

Like anything else, window air conditioners do not last forever. You will soon reach a certain point where the repair costs will become as expensive as buying a new unit, and when this happens, you should know that it is time to say goodbye.

Some of the factors that contribute to decreasing your air conditioner’s life are as follows:

  • The refrigerant of your air conditioner (the cooling stuff) has leaked
  • There are multiple leaking ducts
  • The drains are clogged (Take note that the moisture your window air conditioner collects is supposed to go down the drain)
  • The motor starts to become faulty
  • The gears are not lubricated enough
  • The belts have begun to wear out
  • There is too much dirt and debris inside
  • The fans do not work correctly anymore

Have your window air conditioner checked out by a professional when this happens. If the cost is just as much as buying a brand-new one, it is time to say goodbye to your air conditioner and buy a new one.

Signs Your Window Air Conditioner Requires Maintenance

Here are some tell-tale signs that your window air conditioner needs maintenance:

  • It blows warm air (it should be blowing out cool air, not warm)
  • Only a tiny amount of air comes out of the vents.
  • The thermostat is not accurate anymore
  • Unusual noises are coming out of it
  • It smells funny whenever you turn it on
  • Your home still feels humid even if your window AC is on
  • The water or refrigerant is leaking
  • It costs a lot to run
  • It is over ten years old

If your window AC is already over a decade old, it is time to say goodbye since it is most likely outdated, and it would cost you a lot to repair it.

How Frequently Should You Replace a Window Air Conditioner?

A window air conditioner can last from 8 to 10 years; if yours is over a decade old, it is time to say goodbye and buy a new one.

However, to be sure, a professional can check it before deciding whether to continue using it or let it go.

What’s the Lifespan Of a Window Air Conditioner?

Most window air conditioners can last for up to 10 years, but this varies depending on how often you use them and whether it is properly maintained.

For example, if you are using your window AC for only a couple of months a year and are storing it properly during the winter months, then chances are, you can utilize it until the end of its useful life.

How Do You Know If Your Window Air Conditioner Is Going Out?

Some of the signs that your window air conditioner is about to give up are:

  • Lack of sufficient air/airflow
  • Strange sounds are coming out of it
  • There is a funny smell or a foul odor whenever you turn it on
  • There is a water or refrigerant leakage
  • It blows warm air instead of blowing out cool air
  • The thermostat is inaccurate
  • It costs you a lot (electricity expenses) to run

Do Window Air Conditioners Lose Efficiency Over Time?

Yes, a window air conditioner will slowly lose efficiency over time. While you can resolve most problems with regular and proper maintenance, you have to let it go once your electricity bill starts blowing up whenever you use it.

Like anything else, your window AC has an estimated useful life (EUL); most of the time, it goes for up to 10 years.

Are Old Window Air Conditioners Safe?

It depends on how old your window AC unit is. If it is less than ten years, you can still use them safely, provided you have maintained them properly.

However, suppose it is already more than ten years old. In that case, it can be a health threat for those with asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory-related problems, especially those with previous lung problems.

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