Your air conditioner can last between 10-15 years, but where it falls in that range is mainly up to you.
The amount of maintenance you put into your AC unit dictates how much life you get out of it. A little bit of preventative TLC ensures that you get the most possible use out of it, and makes sure it doesn’t suddenly quit on you in the middle of July.
Here is how to get the most out of your unit.
1. Pay Attention to Any Changes
Like most technology, the key to getting a long life out of your air conditioner is to catch small issues before they become big problems. If there is even a hint of an issue, it always pays to get your AC fixed before it breaks down completely and forces you to buy a whole new unit.
Be mindful of:
- New or louder noises
- New smells
- Increased utility bills
- Any other irregularities
These are all warning signs that something isn’t quite right, and you should call an HVAC technician as soon as possible.
2. Change the Filters Regularly
This is a very small step that can make a massive difference. A dirty filter means that your system is going to have to work harder than it should, which will shorten its life considerably.
You’re probably using disposable 30-day fiberglass filters or 3-month pleated filters. Check in on them regularly and replace them when they look dirty, even if it’s ahead of schedule. Things like smoking indoors or big home renovation projects will likely dirty your filter quickly.
3. Schedule Regular Inspections
Your entire HVAC system should be checked once or twice a year to ensure that both your heating and cooling systems are running smoothly.
Try to schedule these in the spring and in the fall to get ready for winter’s bitter cold and summer’s sweltering heat. Again, you don’t want your system to break down when you need it the most, so get these inspections done before the most demanding seasons.
4. Look at Your Condenser
Your condenser is that big box and fan unit outside of your home. This is essentially the heart and soul of your AC system and you need to make sure it’s able to do its job.
Keep the area around it clear of any weeds or grass that could inhibit its performance. Also, check on it after a big storm to make sure it hasn’t been covered in thick mud, debris or tree branches.
5. Get a Smart Thermostat
This is another great way to make sure your unit is working harder than it needs to, while ensuring you’re not spending more than you need to.
You can actually control your home’s temperature via a mobile app, so you can turn the system down while you’re at work all day, and then back up while you’re on your way home. The thermostat will even learn your personal heating and cooling patterns to ensure maximum comfort and maximum efficiency.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to keep your AC system running for as long as possible. The good news is that all of these steps will also ensure that you’re not paying too much money to heat or cool your home!