September 9, 2016
Most central air conditioning systems only have a lifespan of 10-15 years and replacing them can be a very costly affair. Shelling out money on AC repair can also be very heavy on the pocket, especially if there’s a major breakdown or extensive wear and tear.
As a result, it’s crucial to get the most out of your investment. Taking the right action today can help you extend your AC’s lifespan, sometimes by up to another 15 years!
Here are 6 basic steps to take if you want to extend your AC unit’s lifespan:
- Schedule Professional Tune-Ups– Preventive air conditioner maintenance is the single most effective solution to helping your AC unit last longer. Get them professionally cleaned, inspected, and serviced, to prevent minor issues from turning into major problems down the road.
Schedule a regular maintenance with a certified HVAC company like Service Champions. Not only do our AC technicians understand what potential issues to look for, they can also conduct prompt repairs where needed.
- Keep the AC Cool and Protected – Avoid placing indoor and outdoor units in direct sun or near other heat-producing appliances. Use heavy blinds and drapes indoors (especially on the sunny side of the house) and place the outdoor unit under a shady tree or awning for extra protection.
However, you need to install it at enough of a distance so twigs and leaves don’t get stuck in the fan. Make sure to keep the area around the unit free of loose dirt, weeds, and grass clippings too.
- Ensure It’s Clean and Debris-Free– Like any other large appliance in your home, your air conditioner functions more efficiently when it’s clean and well-maintained. Follow manufacturer guidelines for seasonal cleaning and keep the outdoor unit (condenser) clear of mud, grass clippings and other debris.
To improve performance, have the indoor coils professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Also check for water pooling in the drain lines and raise the unit higher if water is collecting near it.
- Remove Air Flow Blockages – In addition to clearing the space around the condenser, make sure that indoor air circulation remains unobstructed too. Keep the area around cooling vents and return inlets clear of obstacles and remove any built-up dust around dampers with a vacuum cleaner.
In addition, ensure that drapes and furniture aren’t blocking air flow between rooms either. If the cooled air can flow freely through the house, the air conditioner doesn’t have to fight against pressure imbalances.
- Regularly Inspect Air Ducts – The ducts for your HVAC system push conditioned air from heating and cooling units into your home. If there are leaks, gaps, loose seams or obstructions in the duct work, cool air can escape before reaching rooms, and the air conditioner has to work harder.
Check all the ducts on a regular schedule, and immediately repair any damage that you notice. Also make sure that the ducts have adequate insulation and provide joints with extra support where needed.
- Change the Air Filters – The air filters in your HVAC are probably the most important component in terms of performance and efficiency. During scheduled air conditioner maintenance, the HVAC technician will inspect and change the filters, but you may need to do this more often (depending on use).
Usually, air filters should be changed every 1-2 months. They can get clogged with dust, pollen, or pet dander, tough, so change them more often if you live in a dry, dusty area or your home has poor air quality.
Remember, if you treat your air conditioner well, it’ll last that much longer. In addition to the tips listed above, use ceiling fans and programmable thermostats to reduce the load on your AC, and turn it off on cooler days.
Let Service Champions give your HVAC system the help it needs – Call us for an appointment today!