Here’s a reality check none of you will find surprising:
Central air conditioners are expensive.
Expensive to maintain, expensive to operate, and above all, expensive to purchase and install. Fortunately, reputable manufacturers are building great big complex machines that are meant to last. If you’re a smart shopper, you’ll easily find a central air system with a generous 10-year warranty.
With proper care and a good air conditioning repair company to provide your air conditioning service, your system could last even longer than that.
But what’s the secret?
Read on, and I’ll share 1 PROVEN methods of extending the life of your air conditioning system.
What do I mean by “proven methods,” you ask?
Air conditioners are carefully engineered machines. A scientific approach to maintaining them simply means that this list contains information acquired through many years of direct experience. The work and knowledge of many skilled technicians has gone into proving the efficacy of these methods.
Here’s what you need to do:
Number 1 – Take Your Owner’s Manual Seriously – CHANGE THOSE FILTERS!
It is common knowledge among AC repair specialists that dirty air filters are responsible for a large percentage of cooling system issues. I could write a separate article on the dangers of failing to change or clean your filters – and I probably will – but for now, I will go over the basics for you. Among the issues dirty filters can cause are:
Number 2: Use the Best Filters For the Job
Your Spring Hill Fl air conditioning repair professional will be a great resource when it comes to this. In fact, that’s great general advice.
Ask lots of questions.
Your system will have a manufacturer recommended filter, but it may or may not be the absolute best filter for your situation. One potential way to increase the lifespan of your equipment is to choose a low-resistance air filter.
You’ll have to ensure that it is enough for your home’s needs, as low-resistance filters are often not quite as effective, but striking a great balance between filtering and not restricting airflow more than absolutely necessary will reduce the wear and tear on your air conditioner.
Number 3: Keep your intake and return registers clean.
The same principle that necessitates the cleaning of air filters applies to your intake and air return grills.
How do you clean these?
It’s not difficult, but it can vary by manufacturer and system. The vent covers are capable of gathering dust and debris, much like an air filter or a window screen, and should be cleaned fairly regularly. In particular, if you have a pet-friendly home and floor registers, you’ll want to be diligent about this.
But guess what:
It’s insanely easy to do.
Once a month or so, you should:
Then, twice a year or so, you might:
Number 4: Keep your outside unit clean and free of debris.
Your condenser is the unit outside your home that does most of the heavy lifting for your air conditioning system. A professional air conditioning service call may include attention for your condensing unit, but it’s something a homeowner should keep an eye on as well.
Why this matters:
If your outside unit is dirty, the cooling fins are clogged and the system isn’t working as well as it should. You’ve got a year’s worth of dirt and muck if you’ve been neglecting your maintenance chores, and that can cause a ripple effect of equipment issues.
Great news, though! It isn’t hard to do some basic things to protect your condenser from the dangers of debris.
There are other tasks associated with keeping your fins clean, but we’d advise making them part of a scheduled service call. Which brings us to:
Number 5: Schedule annual or biannual tune-ups.
This cannot be stressed enough:
AC repair technicians are your friends. We want your air conditioner to work correctly. We want your home to be comfortable. We want you to have a great experience when you see us, and we want you to trust us to take care of you.
The “tune-up” every repairman advises you to get isn’t a racket, it’s a very necessary maintenance step.
Think of it the way you would a car; if you calculate the ratio of work done by your air conditioner to its projected life span, it would be the equivalent of a car being driven approximately 169,000 miles in a year.
That is one efficient machine. Instead of the 33 or more oil changes a car would need in that time frame, all your air conditioner really asks for is filter changes and a single tune-up.
Alright, but what does a tune-up consist of, typically?
An average professional tune up should include:
If you don’t have a trusted repair service, a search for “AC repair near me” will give you some options, but be careful about selecting companies – not all air conditioning service companies are created equal.
Number 6: Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
You probably grew up in a house with a pretty familiar thermostat design. For years, most homes had your basic mercury thermostat. You turn it clockwise and you raise the temperature. Counterclockwise, you’re cooling things down. It’s a familiar piece of equipment, but not an efficient one.
Even if you’ve got something relatively modern, thermostats have come a very long way in recent years. Programmable thermostats offer superior function and efficiency, and very modern thermostats are even controllable via Wi-Fi or a mobile device, so that you can even keep an eye on your system when you aren’t home.
Number 7: Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a simple and relatively immediate help if you want to extend the life of your system without spending a fortune on HVAC repair. They help circulate cool air in your home, and they’ll allow your system to work less to achieve the same temperatures.
Research has shown that ceiling fans will allow you to set your thermostat temperature a massive four degrees higher and still get the same level of comfort. That’s hard to top. That could spell savings as high as 20-30% annually.
More importantly, ceiling fans let your air conditioner live longer, because it isn’t working as hard. Talk about an affordable solution!
Number 8: Ask Your Service Provider To Check Your Ductwork
Ductwork is an important part of your air conditioning system. It’s essentially the veins and arteries that bring the all-important cold air around your home. If you don’t have sufficient ductwork with adequate volume of supply, your efficiency and performance will suffer.
That, in turn, will reduce the effective life span of your air conditioning equipment.
If you aren’t sure that your ductwork is up to the job, don’t worry. Call your Spring Hill AC repair provider and ask for a duct calculation. That will tell them whether your system and duct are a good match for one another, and if they are not, it will tell them what can be done.
Maintaining clean, efficiently designed ductwork is a great way to maximize the number of years your central AC will remain in service.
Number 9: Install a UV Light Air Purification System
Ultraviolet light has many uses: medical sterilization, germicidal lamps at restaurants, nail polish curing lights, and more. My favorite use, however, is one that many homeowners don’t even know about:
UV lights for your central air conditioning system.
Why would I want LIGHTS in my air conditioner?
The lights aren’t so you can see better, don’t worry. UV lights in residential HVAC systems are there to kill mold and bacteria, and they do a darn good job of it. The most common installation is withinin your indoor air handler, where it keeps the indoor cooling coil clean and fresh.
Many owners are able to tell if their light has burned out simply because of reductions in air quality.
You may also opt for an installation in your return duct system, which is installed in the return air duct and sterilizes air as it passes through.
Overall, UV lights extend the life of your system by giving the filters and blower an easier time of it. They also improve the air quality and health of your home, all without being terribly expensive to install or maintain.
Just remember, the bulbs can glow for years but they lose effectiveness after 9000 hours (about 1 year) as the gas within the bulb becomes inert, meaning it’s ability to kill germs is degraded.
Number 10: Watch for obstructions on or near your vents.
You may have noticed that a lot of these tips have to do with keeping air circulating easily.
That’s because the best thing you can do to extend the life of your system is make its job easier. Restricted airflow, over time, can damage your compressor, which is always the most expensive AC repair.
One way airflow can be restricted is through poor furniture placement. In your efforts to Feng Shui your living room, you may accidentally place a china cabinet in front of a wall vent or an end table over a grill in your floor.
Just taking care to keep plenty of space around your registers and vents can do a lot to keep your system happy.
I’d love to hear about any tips or tricks you think may have been left off of this list. Everything is situational, of course, as AC repair near me and AC repair in a different climate may recommend different actions. However, the tips on this list are proven, and immediately actionable!
If you have questions or need help call us right now at 352-436-1876!