Air conditioners often run nonstop during hot weather to keep us cool inside. This kind of heavy use, however, puts your AC at risk of wear-and-tear damage. If you’re not vigilant, you might end up facing hefty AC replacement costs. You can ensure your AC lasts longer and runs more efficiently with these seven easy ways to help extend the life expectancy of your AC.
1. Change Your Filter Regularly
Changing your AC’s air filter is a simple yet effective way to keep your AC unit running efficiently. When your filter is clogged, air circulation is inhibited. This makes your AC work harder than it should as it moves air throughout a space. Your AC may be at risk of overheating, which puts additional strain on the system and can lead to premature failure. By frequently changing your AC’s air filter, you can enhance the airflow and minimize strain on the unit.
Changing the filter of your AC can also help boost your home’s air quality. A clogged filter can send dust, pollen, and other pollutants throughout your home, lowering indoor air quality and potentially triggering allergies and respiratory symptoms. We recommend that you change your unit’s air filter at least once every three months. You might need to change it more frequently if you have asthma, allergies, or a furry family member.
2. Give Your AC a Rest
An AC that is running nonstop is more likely to break down earlier. By giving your AC a rest, you can minimize the wear on the unit and extend its lifespan.
Consider turning your AC off entirely if you’ll be leaving your home for an extended period. Alternatively, you can raise the thermostat a few degrees to give it a break from cooling or set it to “fan” to keep air moving through the house without cooling it. According to the Department of Energy, 78 degrees is the “sweet spot” to balance comfortable indoor temperatures with affordable energy bills. It’s less burdensome on the AC unit, too! You can bump the temps up a little higher when you’re away at work to save even more on energy bills and keep your AC running smoothly.
Finally, you can install a ceiling fan to complement the AC system. Fans circulate cool air from the AC, which relieves the strain on the unit. However, turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room to avoid wasting energy.
3. Size Your Unit Correctly
While often overlooked, the size of your AC unit can be a crucial determinant of its life expectancy. If your AC is too small for your space, it will have to work harder to keep the temperature comfortable. This can cause it to wear out faster and possibly result in a breakdown.
Conversely, an overly large AC will cycle on and off more often, increasing system wear and tear. Sizing your unit will help ensure the AC works efficiently and isn’t overworked. You can contact us to get the proper AC size for your needs.
4. Clean the Ducts
Clogged air ducts can keep the air from flowing smoothly throughout your home. Your AC will have to work harder to circulate cooled air. The excessive workload will create excessive wear.
Cleaning the air ducts is one of the easier ways you can enhance airflow and minimize the extra strain on the air conditioning unit. Because dirty ducts can also trap pollen and other allergens, cleaning your ducts can help you breathe a little more freely, too. We recommend that you clean your air ducts at least annually, especially if you use your AC nonstop during the hot months.
5. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clear
The outdoor unit of your AC is the powerhouse of the system. Its condenser coils are designed to release heat from your space. If the outdoor unit is clogged or obstructed, the airflow will be limited, and the system will have to work harder to maintain your desired temperatures. This type of heavy workload can reduce your entire system’s lifespan.
Keeping the outdoor unit clear ensures you can maintain sufficient airflow and lessen the strain on the AC system, extending its life. We recommend that you maintain at least 2 feet of clear space between the outdoor unit and any obstructions. Keeping the AC system’s outdoor unit clear can also help prevent damage. Debris, such as grass and leaves, can become trapped in the outdoor unit, potentially damaging the fins or coil. The damage can lead to more significant issues.
6. Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat makes it possible to set your home’s temperature based on your schedule. By adjusting and setting the thermostat according to your sleep-wake cycles and work or school schedule, you can reduce the load on your system.
You can adjust the thermostat to bump the temperature up a few degrees when you leave for work or school for the day. You can then adjust the AC to turn on until right before you’re due home so you can walk into a cool, comfortable home. You can increase temperatures at night when you’re asleep and lower them when you’re awake and moving around.
Some programmable thermostats even include remote access that allows you to adjust your home’s temperature from afar. In other words, even when you’re not home, you’ll still be able to manage your AC and keep it from working too hard, saving you both money and energy.
Your programmable thermostat might even include reminders for professional maintenance, filter changes, and more. This feature can be invaluable for busy homeowners and can keep you on track with routine maintenance no matter what else is going on in your life.
7. Get Regular AC Tune-ups
Regular maintenance will help keep your AC operating smoothly and allow you to discover possible problems early on, preventing further damage to the system and extending its lifespan. HVAC technicians inspect the unit for signs of premature wear and tear and can identify and fix problems early before they have a chance to do significant damage.
Many AC manufacturers also require you to complete regular maintenance to protect your warranty. If you fail to schedule routine tune-ups, you are at risk of voiding your warranty, and this can cost you significantly in the long run if you need to repair or replace your AC as a result of that neglect.
Annual maintenance is ideal. A yearly AC checkup will address any existing operating problems in your system and can help reduce the risk of future malfunctions. The best time to service your AC is in mid to late spring, ensuring that you are fully prepared for the hot summer days ahead. You might also consider a second check of your system at the end of the cooling season to clean it and keep it on track.
Keep Your Home Cool With AC Professionals
Like other appliances in your home, your AC system requires routine system maintenance to extend its life expectancy. At Polar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we take pride in being the top-quality AC company in Newburgh, NY. Our professional team will address all your AC needs from installation and maintenance to repairs and replacements. We also provide an array of heating and plumbing services. For more information, contact us today!