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How Long Do Portable Air Conditioners Last?

Summer is here, and the heat is on. Portable air conditioners are a practical solution to cool off indoors. Simple to install and easy to use, portable air conditioners are a perfect “quick fix” in times of intense heat. But even the quick fix has an expiration date. If you are wondering how long a portable air conditioner can last, you’re in the right place!

A portable air conditioner can last for up to ten years. With exceptional care and maintenance, that number can go up to fifteen or more years. Much of that depends on how well it is kept, so a lowered usage frequency and duration can extend its life even more.   

An air conditioner unit is a sophisticated combination of moving parts and, like all sophisticated machines, its lifespan is influenced by several factors. This post will explain air conditioner parts vulnerability, what causes breakage, and tips to extend its life.

How Long Do Portable Air Conditioners Last

Vulnerable parts of a portable air conditioner.

All moving parts are susceptible to damage. The portable air conditioner’s breakable parts are:

  • The compressor – Difficult to fix; a simple leakage means expensive replacement and repair.
  • The evaporator fan – Easily repairable; inexpensive and replaced in a short period.
  • The condenser fan – Repairable; also inexpensive and replacement duration is minimal.
  • The coolant – Easily replaceable.

Of the above parts, the compressor, when damaged, usually leads to the end of the portable air conditioner’s life. The others are easily replaceable without being expensive and difficult to fix. 

Nonetheless, the equipment used to form the portable air conditioner is reliable. But, that does not guarantee breakage won’t occur. Wear and tear will happen to a level that can vary because of where and what kind of environment it is set in. 

Life-lowering crescendos.

The wear and tear of a portable air conditioner would be lower on a unit set up in a bedroom compared to a garage. The dynamics lowering the lifespan of any portable air conditioner are:

Improper Installation

Always hire a professional to set up a unit. Being a complex machine, the portable air conditioner needs to be installed as per instructions in the manual. Experienced professional technicians are familiar with and aware of the various installations procedures and steps involved. 

How Long Do Portable Air Conditioners Last

Misuse or Over-Usage

Large rooms require more intense or overkill cooling. This over-usage can lower the lifespan of the portable air conditioner. It is highly recommended that the unit’s room is smaller than the capacity it is made for. This will enhance its life. 


The arch-nemesis of all machinery and equipment, especially portable air conditioners, dirt can drastically reduce lifespans. Once clogged, the filters can place a significant burden on the efficiency of the unit. Regular cleaning of filters enhances the functioning of the air conditioner while preventing other issues such as overheating. 

Lack of Maintenance and Care

Maintenance and care such as cleaning filters, checking coolant levels, & servicing can lead to an enhanced lifespan of the unit. Upkeep and care are vital, so ensuring it will guarantee that the unit never fails in times of need. 

Other factors that can reduce the life of the unit are pets, rodents, or insect infestations. Pets are great, but animals that live indoors can contribute to the air quality hence more particles to filter by the unit. Rodents and insects can damage it beyond repair. 

Warning Signs for Maintenance

The air conditioner is an important part of the household in summer, so maintenance should be a top priority. Still, some may not come down to doing it, so there are signs to watch out for unless you need to go buy another one!

Listen to the Unit

If the unit makes irregular sounds, then something is surely amiss. This is an indication that something is wrong and needs attention. Either something has broken inside it, or it is not working as intended. Usually, a cleaning does the trick, but if not and the noise persists, servicing it may be the only option. 

Lowered Air Flow or Cooling

Lowered airflow can be translated as clogged air filters. Use the manual to understand the cleaning procedures and take steps to clean the filters so that the unit can run efficiently. 

How Long Do Portable Air Conditioners Last

Strange Odors

If the room starts having strange odors, check the clogged filters for any bacterial activities. The decomposing dust makes a nasty smell, so use a soft brush and water when cleaning the filter. 

Tips to extend the life of a portable air conditioner.

By keeping your portable air conditioner in the best condition, you can increase its life. Maintenance and care must be undertaken regularly. Additionally, some key steps also support the unit’s lifespan. 

Safe Storage During Non-Usage

One of the most common problems users face is damage during winter or off-season. The damage incurred was due to poor storage facilities, rough handling, rodent or pest infestations, and others. Always remember to store the unit in a place that is dry, safe, rodent/ pest-free, and out of the way. Ensure to service it before first use at the start of the season. 

Regular Attention to Filters

Filters are one of the most important components of the portable air conditioner. The filter determines the quality of air the machine will blow out. Debris and dirt is “public enemy number one” as it gathers up and clogs the filter’s pathways. Never use detergent or soap on the filters. Use a soft brush or cloth at least once every thirty days for filter cleaning. 

How Long Do Portable Air Conditioners Last


Placing the unit in a specific location is also crucial for its long life. While the unit is portable, it is good practice to place it in one position and ensure the area is clean. As mentioned, dirty rooms can lead to clogging problems, odors, and even clogs inside the unit. Place the unit next to a window so that air circulation is well-maintained. 

Power Source

Choosing the right power source is common knowledge, but what is the right source? A supply that can deliver 120 volts of AC is ideal to start the fan and its compressor. Flimsy supplies can be dangerous and risky. Never use short-circuited or repaired supplies that have increased chances of busting. This can lead you to spend more money. 

In the end, portable air conditioners are reliable electrical machines that can last a lengthy time. 

With the proper attention and care, it can breathe cool air into your home in the blistering heat of summers for a long time. 

Make sure to invest in a unit that is bigger for the room size. This will mean that the unit won’t have to run as much, thus adding to its life. Also, the two-hose system portable air conditioner with eliminated clogging issues can be a good check out! 

How Long Do Portable Air Conditioners Last


Summers are usually hot, so portable air conditioners are a practical solution. A portable air conditioner can last for ten years and more, if maintained properly. Being a sophisticated machine, it has moving parts that can break. These are inexpensively replaceable, but if the compressor breaks down, it signifies the end of its life. 

Factors such as improper installation, misuse or over-usage, dirt, and lack of maintenance can not only drastically lower its performance but its shelf-life. There are signs to watch out for such as irregular noises, lowered airflow, strange odors, etc. that can mean something is wrong. 


  • Nicole Sutton

    Nicole Sutton is an enthusiastic writer and knowledgeable contributor to She offers a plethora of knowledge to the platform, with a background in environmental science and a profound curiosity with all things connected to temperature regulation. Nicole's interesting and informative writings assist readers in making informed decisions about home heating, cooling, and climate control.

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