Air conditioners are a standard appliance in many homes across the United States. The US Energy Information Administration states that more than 100 million US homes have air conditioners.
While most people know how to operate their air conditioner, few know how to find the age of the unit. The EPA recommends that people get their air conditioner serviced every three to five years. However, if you don't know how old your unit is, it's challenging to know when it's time for a tune-up.
For example, the furnace filter is the part of the system that most often needs replacing. The filter is vital for trapping airborne contaminants before entering the air ducts and circulating throughout your home.
Read more: How Often Should I Change My Furnace Filter?
Here are some tips to determine the correct age of your air conditioning unit.
1) Check the Condenser Nameplate
The AC condenser is responsible for releasing the heat that has been pulled from inside your home. The nameplate on the condenser will have the manufacturer's name and the serial number. The first four digits of the serial number are the year the unit was manufactured.
2) Check the Product Label on the Blower Compartment
The product label on the blower compartment will also have the manufacturer's name and the serial number. The blower plate is located on the furnace, where the return air duct connects to the furnace.
The product label may be worn or missing if you have an older furnace. In this case, you can check the furnace model number to understand the age.
3) Date of Installation
The date of installation is usually the best way to determine the age of an air conditioner. It can be seen on the manufacturer's sticker on the back of the unit or the sales receipt from when it was installed. If you don't have either of these, you can try looking up the model number online to find out when it was first released.
If you have an older home, chances are your air conditioner is older too. The ideal lifespan of an air conditioner is about 15-20 years, so if your home is over 20 years old, your AC unit is likely too.
4) Call an HVAC Expert
If you've tried all of the above steps and still can't determine the age of your air conditioner, then it's time to call in an expert. An HVAC professional will be able to quickly tell you how old your unit is and can also perform any needed maintenance or repairs. They will check for any obvious signs of wear and tear and can also run diagnostic tests to check the overall health of your unit.