Sadly, nothing really lasts forever. For many things, the best we can hope for is to keep things functioning for as long as possible. The good news is that with a little bit of effort, your air conditioner can last for a long time, often longer than the amount of time you’re likely to live in your home. For many people, they only need to replace an HVAC unit once, maybe twice during their life. This may seem odd since a standard HVAC unit needs to be replaced every 15-20 years, but when you consider how often people move to new homes, a little maintenance and forethought can help you avoid having to replace a unit that’s still in good repair.
Get your seasonal maintenance done every year. Not only does this improve the energy-efficiency and life-span of your unit, it maintains the temperature control power of the unit and keeps warranties in effect, making future repairs cheaper. Don’t forget to replace your air filter every three to six months!
Don’t Overburden Your Unit
While many people don’t realize it, it’s easy to over stress your unit. Closing off vents throughout the home runs the risk of creating backpressure in ventilation ducts, forcing air into spaces that don’t need it and adding extra burdens to your forced air system. Likewise, raising your thermostat a few degrees and supplementing with a fan reduces the amount of effort your system puts into keeping your home cool, increasing its lifespan.
Repair the Unit
Many HVAC systems break down during the summer. Never force your unit to run when it’s struggling. If the condenser coils are freezing over or the compressor is squealing, always call for a repair and don’t just get by with ‘good enough’ cooling. Continued use of a damaged HVAC unit will lead to further damage that may require a complete replacement if you push it too far.