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Do AC Units Fail Faster In Hot Climates?

Posted by Kelly on Apr 30, 2015 11:55:00 AM

Minnesota Air Conditioners Face Different Kinds of Stress Do AC units fail faster in hot climates

In Minnesota, we only use our air conditioning units for a few months of the year. When we finally get a chance to turn on the AC after a long winter, it may seem like a lot of effort (cleaning it, getting it inspected by a pro, and making any repairs) just to turn it off again a few months later.

Hot, southern climates are just the opposite. They use their AC units for the majority of the year, with little room for a break.

Both climates have units that are exposed to outdoor elements – although very different elements – so which one is likely to fail faster? For the answer, we turned to our resident expert, Keith Hill, Minnesota Air’s technical support manager, to give us the scoop on AC failures.

Different Kinds of Stress

“The mechanical components of an Air Conditioner do experience more wear and tear in hotter climates, so you would think that our northern climate units would last a lot longer,” he says. “But in reality, we have a different kind of wear and tear, due to our extreme cold weather that sometimes is worse than more frequent run-time.”

Most of the northern states experience all four seasons, and for those who live in Minnesota, we know the weather can be 70s and sunny one day and snowing the next. That can be a volatile mix for anything left outside.

“Consider the rapid changes in temperature and humidity, frequent dew conditions, and frequent freeze/thaw cycles that our outdoor units must withstand,” says Keith. “Even though the unit isn’t running, it takes a toll on electrical components and connections.”

He says corrosion due to condensation affects motors and controls. That can mean more repairs for those parts if not properly maintained and cared for.

Running Hot and Cold

In hot climates, they may need to keep their units constantly running, which can take a toll on all the moving parts. But, needing to use their AC regularly may make some people slack off on changing the filters and getting routine maintenance and repairs done on their unit which can lead to bigger AC issues or mechanical failures.

“(Minnesota) may benefit a little bit from fewer cooling hours, but it’s primarily a fuel savings benefit, not so much on unit life expectancy,” says Keith.

No matter the climate, your best bet for getting an air conditioner to last is to schedule regular checkups with an HVAC pro, make sure to clean it and change the filter regularly, and choose the right size AC unit for your home. If it’s too small, it can wear itself out quickly and fail to keep your home as comfortable, because it just doesn’t have the cooling capacity. If it’s too large, you’ll get an AC that is constantly turning itself off and on, leading to uncomfortable temperature swings and a lot of wasted energy.

Turn to your trusted HVAC professionals at to make sure you are getting an air conditioner that is built to last!

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Topics: Cooling