Best Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner
A home air conditioning unit is designed to last for 15 to 20 years. If you treat it right, you may be able to extend the life of your air conditioner and save yourself the money it would take to replace it. Air conditioners and HVAC systems are one of the largest expenses you’ll have at home, whether you bought your home or built it from the ground up.
There are several things you can do to extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it running at its highest proficiency level in the meantime.
Here are a few of our best tips:
Keep the Outdoor Component Clean
Make sure that there is no debris in or around the outdoor portion of your air conditioning unit. Don’t stack things on top of it or plant shrubs too close so that the unit can’t intake and exhaust air. A professional repair person can help you maintain the cleanliness of your AC unit.
Turn It Off Whenever Possible
Most of us run our AC even when it’s pleasant outside. By waiting a little longer in the spring or even into summer before turning it on, you can make your AC last a lot longer. Utilize regular fans, ceiling fans and windows to keep your home cool for as long as possible. And the same goes for turning it off sooner in the fall.
Make Sure the Airways Are Clear
Check the air ducts and the fans inside your AC unit, or you can hire a pro to check them periodically. Restricted air flow makes the unit work a lot harder than it should have to. You can check the ductwork yourself, but this is a task that’s usually a lot easier for a trained professional with the right tools.
Don’t Use a Humidifier in Summer
Part of the reason we use air conditioning in the summer is to reduce indoor air humidity. Using a humidifier defeats this purpose. Your air conditioner will try to keep up and eventually wear itself down. If you need some humidity in your home, shut the AC off and open the windows!
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are great for people who spend at least a few hours away from home each day. You can set it to turn the AC up while you’re away from the house and help your air conditioner last even longer. There are infinite ways to set a programmable thermostat based on your family’s routine.
Install Blinds and Curtains
The sun can heat your house up and make the thermostat kick into high gear, especially when it’s shining directly into uncovered windows. Insulated window treatments are ideal, but even the ones that aren’t insulated will block the sun’s rays from entering your home and keep it cooler inside automatically.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular preventative maintenance will extend the life of your air conditioner by catching little issues before they become huge problems (aka costly repairs). It will also keep the inner components such as the condenser coil and fan motors clean and working at their highest capacity.
Insulate Doors and Windows
Check the caulking and weather stripping around all exterior doors and windows every year. Replace it as needed to better insulate your home.
Check the Filters Between Services
Just because you have your AC serviced at the beginning of summer doesn’t mean those filters will stay clean all season long. Check them every month, especially if you have environmental factors that may clog them faster than normal, such as nearby construction or proximity to trees and shrubs.
Turn Electronics Off When Not in Use
Your television puts off a lot of heat, but you may not realize that computers and other devices do as well. Turn them off completely when you aren’t using them to keep your home cooler and take the pressure off your air conditioner.
The cost of replacing an air conditioning unit in your home can range from $500 to $4,000 depending on the size and brand of the unit, plus other factors such as installation fees and ductwork. This certainly isn’t a cost you want to incur just a few short years into the life of your brand new air conditioner! Taking proper care of your air conditioner is a sure-fire way to extend its life and save yourself the cost of an untimely replacement.
Observe these simple steps every day to extend the life of your air conditioner by several years!