How to Extend the Lifespan of Your AC Unit
Summers can be hot and sticky — your air conditioner provides relief from the sweltering heat. With so much use, you might be concerned about how to extend the life span of your HVAC system. You rely on your AC to protect you from the heat, and any problems with the unit can quickly turn into expensive repairs if left unfixed. Keeping the AC in top condition will help prolong its life span so you get the most out of your unit.
When properly cared for, the average life span of an air conditioner is 15 to 20 years. Your AC unit can last 20 years with regular care and maintenance. Check out this guide to learn more about ways to extend the life of an AC unit and keep your system working efficiently and effectively for years to come.
Clean the Ducts
If you have a duct system, cool air is carried through your home using the air ducts. They’re essential for the transportation of air and the entire cooling process. Over time, ducts can collect dust, debris and allergens inside. With all of this build-up, air can’t adequately spread throughout your home. A significant sign your ducts need cleaning is if cool air isn’t coming out of the vents in a specific room.
If you suspect your ducts are blocked or dirty, or you just haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a while, it’s a good idea to get them cleared out. Ducts can be challenging to clean for most people — you should contact a professional for your duct cleaning to ensure it’s done safely and correctly.
Change the Air Filter
Your air conditioner has a filter that collects allergens, dust and dirt to prevent them from getting into the air. Eventually, your air filter will fill up with this debris. This can lead to the AC unit blowing debris back into your home. A blocked filter might also prevent airflow through the house.
Your AC unit might have a light that comes on when the filter needs replacing — otherwise, you’ll have to check it regularly to see if it needs changing. Cleaning or changing your air filter when it becomes dirty ensures your airflow stays clean and unblocked.
Use Auto Settings
Your HVAC system has a fan with three settings: on, auto and off. Many people leave their system fan set on “on,” thinking this will help keep the house consistently cool. However, the “on” setting leaves the fan on all the time, using up more energy and eventually leading to more wear and tear on your unit.
The “auto” setting only turns the fan on when the system is working to heat or cool your home. This saves money and energy, operating your system efficiently and reducing the strain on your unit.
Insulation is essential to energy savings and another one of the ways to extend the life of an AC unit. Insulation in your home and attic helps keep the interior air inside and prevents exterior air from leaking in. If you have poor or old insulation, the air from your HVAC system can escape out of your house more quickly. This means your system has to work harder and more often to maintain the internal climate, increasing your energy bills and HVAC wear and tear.
Sometimes, your vents can become blocked by furniture or objects, or they might fall closed. A blocked air vent prevents air from adequately circulating in rooms where you need it, making your home an uncomfortable temperature. You might end up setting your thermostat to more extreme temperatures to compensate for this blockage, putting even more strain on the AC system. Ensure all vents are unobstructed and opened to ensure your AC works efficiently.
Look for Leaks
At least once a year, check for leaks around your air conditioner. Leaks can lead to severe damage and expensive repairs if left unchecked. Refrigerant can leak out of your unit, causing inefficient cooling and putting even more strain on your air conditioner. If you spot a leak, contact a professional immediately. They can identify its source and provide you with the necessary repairs and solutions.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Unlike manual thermostats, a smart thermostat regulates temperature automatically based on a schedule you set for each day. This helps to maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner and minimize the wear on the system. If no one’s home, the house doesn’t need to stay cool all day.
With a smart thermostat, you can set a schedule that turns up the temperature while everyone’s gone for the day. This saves you energy costs and ensures your AC doesn’t have to work hard cooling the home when no one is around.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is essential for prolonging the life span of your air conditioner. These tune-ups are more intensive than simply replacing an air filter. A technician will evaluate your HVAC system, checking for issues, potential problems and severe damage. They’ll make the repairs needed to get your unit working perfectly. This helps extend an AC unit’s life by keeping everything in good condition. Preventing minor wear and tear will help avoid more severe issues and can save you money on expensive repairs long term.
Find Alternative Ways to Cool
Another great way to extend the life of your HVAC system is through alternative cooling methods. If you’re constantly running your AC, it uses more energy and puts more wear on the system. Regularly taking some of the pressure off your AC can give the system a much-needed break, saving you money and improving its life span. Some ways to cool off without your AC include:
Fans are perfect for cooling people down without the use of an AC. Use box, ceiling or oscillating fans to give you a nice, cool breeze while you hang out in a room. To save energy, don’t leave fans on when you aren’t in the room — fans work great for cooling people off, but they don’t have the power to cool off an entire room.
Leaving them on when you aren’t there will only use up more energy than necessary. While in a room, point the fan at or near you to get some heat relief.
If it’s too hot outside, opening the windows will only let out the cool air. Opening the windows will give you cool air and excellent circulation without needing your AC if it’s nighttime or there’s a good daytime breeze. The nighttime air will blow through your open windows, cooling the entire house and keeping you at a comfortable temperature all night long.
Another way to reduce your home’s heat is by avoiding heat-generating appliances during the day. Dryers, stoves, ovens, dishwashers and other appliances generate heat when used, which can cause your AC to work harder if used too often. Give your AC a break from working hard and try only using these appliances in the mornings and evenings when there’s less sun out. This helps keep the home temperature low and comfortable.
Contact Metro Services HVAC for AC Maintenance and Repair
Dealing with a broken or dirty air conditioner can be a frustrating, uncomfortable experience. Being without AC for days is something no one wants to have to handle. At Metro Services HVAC, we understand this struggle and prioritize customer comfort with our fast, affordable services. Our expert technicians deliver high-quality services and repairs with the best customer service, giving you a premium HVAC experience at best-value prices.
Interested in our top-notch maintenance and inspection plans? Looking for AC services and repairs? Contact us online to schedule a free estimate or same-day service today!