Your air-conditioning unit works hard, especially during the summer heat. You want that equipment to last as long as possible. Keeping your AC unit in good working order and using it wisely will help the equipment run smoothly.
Here’s how to make your A/C unit last longer (and avoid costly repairs and replacements).
1. Regular A/C unit checks & tune-ups
At least once a year, you need to have a professional HVAC technician inspect and tune your A/C unit. You can do it in the fall after the summer is over or in the spring before you fire it up. Most homeowners choose to have this work done in the spring to make sure there are no problems left over from the winter months.
Routine checks and maintenance will keep the system running smoothly while preventing HVAC problems, like a complete shutdown, down the line. These checks will minimize the need for repairs and extend the life of your entire A/C unit. The best part is that your A/C should work smoothly and without any problems through the hottest parts of summer.
2. Change your filters
Your air-conditioning unit depends on a free flow of clean air to function properly. If the filter gets clogged, air flow can become restricted. That causes the unit to work harder and longer, just to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This extra wear and tear means more repair bills down the line and it shortens the life of the entire unit. On top of everything else, your energy bills will skyrocket.
It’s a good idea to check your air filters at least once a month whenever the unit is in use. If they show any build-up of dust, replace them immediately. This could help them work more efficiently and reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your home. Remember to double-check them before starting the A/C in the spring. It also doesn’t hurt to regularly give your A/C unit a good clean. Use a gentle spray of water to remove pollen or dust that may have built-up around the coil.
3. Clear any air flow blockages
Just as you don’t want your A/C unit to struggle against built-up dust, you don’t want an air-conditioner to work harder fighting pressure imbalances due to airflow blockages. Remove any furniture or drapes that may be blocking a vent to allow air to flow freely.
Additionally, you’ll want to do your own regular A/C unit checks outside to ensure there’s no debris, like mud or leaves, blocking or covering the unit. Keeping the space around your unit and air vents clear will allow for air to circulate easily and prevent your unit from working too hard to push air out.
Each of these tips will help you keep your A/C unit working for years to come. Do a little bit every month. It is a small time investment that will pay off with a long-lasting A/C unit.
Originally published 09/28/17. Last updated 03/19/19.