8 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner

Our air conditioners are a significant financial investment, and we need them to run smoothly and efficiently for as long as possible.

During the sweltering Arizona summers, our A/C units work hard, so we need to do all we can to lessen their burden. That means not running our air conditioners more than we need to, or we may find ourselves without air conditioning on the hottest summer days.

Here are eight ways to extend the life of your air conditioner:

  1. Get your air conditioner professionally serviced each year.

Your air conditioner, like other equipment, needs regular maintenance to work at peak performance. There’s no better way to extend the life of your A/C unit than to ensure it receives regular maintenance.

It’s much more cost-effective than purchasing new components or a whole new system.

Chas Roberts has a 26-point maintenance checklist to check your system from top to bottom. It includes:

  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Adjust thermostat calibration
  • Clean condenser coil
  • Check air flow
  • And much more

A well-maintained air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool, which means lower energy bills and a longer life for your unit.

  1. Install a programmable thermostat.

If you don’t yet have a programmable thermostat, you’re missing out on some significant benefits and making your air conditioner work harder than it needs to.

Programmable thermostats allow you to precisely control temperatures in your home throughout the day.  Your air conditioner will only run when you need it to, reducing stress on the system and saving you money.

You can set multiple temperatures based on when you’ll be home and when you’ll be away with a programmable thermostat.

Manual thermostats also tend to have a higher temperature variance than programmable units, meaning the thermostat isn’t accurately reading the room temperature, so your air conditioner is running more.

Another advantage of programmable thermostats is they can be professionally recalibrated if needed. If your manual thermostat becomes uncalibrated, you’ll need to replace it.

Installing a programmable thermostat is an excellent way to help extend the life of your air conditioner.

Chas Roberts can install a programmable thermostat in an ideal location in your home.

  1. Change your air filters often.

Dirty air filters force your air conditioner to work harder and cause more wear and tear on the equipment. Air filters should be changed as often as once a month in the summer.

Dirty filters also worsen the air quality in your home, posing a health threat to anyone with respiratory problems. Dust, pollen, and pet dander can circulate throughout your home through unclean filters.

Check your air filters often, and if they look dirty, replace them.

Write the replacement date on each filter to know when you last replaced it.

  1. Check your air ducts for leaks.

Ducts are a crucial part of your HVAC system, and if they’re poorly sealed, they can leak air.

According to Energy Star, leaking ducts can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system by as much as 20%. A typical home can lose 20-30% of the air that moves through the ducts due to cracks and leaks.

That means your air conditioner has to work harder to keep your home cool, so the system will have more wear and tear, and your energy bills will increase.

Damaged ducts also allow dust and debris to bypass the air filter and blow directly into your home, compromising the indoor air quality.

According to the Energy Star website, leaking ductwork can also cause “backdrafting,” where combustion gasses from the normal operation of appliances are drawn back into the living spaces rather than being pushed outdoors as they should be.

By professionally sealing leaking ducts, you can minimize the risk of overworking your air conditioner and having toxic gasses drawn back into your home.

  1. Seal any air leaks around windows and doors.

Air leaks around windows and doors allow hot air into your home in summer and force your air conditioner to work harder to keep it cool. Door and window frames are common areas for air leaks.

If you can see daylight around door or window frames and feel hot air coming into your home, you’ve got an air leak that needs repair. Check the caulking and weatherstripping for damage and replace them as needed.

A well-sealed home is easier to keep cool.

  1. Use ceiling fans for additional cooling.

The air movement a ceiling fan generates can make you feel about 4 degrees cooler, and fans use one-tenth the electricity of an air conditioner.

Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard when you use a ceiling fan for additional cooling in your home.

Ensure the fan blades go counterclockwise to blow air downward.  Save energy by turning off fans when you leave the room.

  1. Close window treatments to block direct sunlight.

Sunlight flooding into rooms during the day increases the temperature and forces your air conditioner to work harder. Close your window treatments to block sunlight and keep rooms cooler.

Insulating window treatments can provide even more protection from direct sunlight.

Installing sunscreens on south and west-facing windows will also help block sunlight and heat.

Keep all doors and windows tightly closed when your air conditioner is running.

  1. Keep most of the vents in your home open.

Closing vents in your home may seem like it will lighten the load on your air conditioner, but it won’t.

Air conditioning and heating systems are designed to work with open vents.  The system can’t circulate air properly if you close too many vents.

Too many closed vents reduce your A/C system’s effectiveness.

No more than 10% of the vents in your home should be closed when you’re cooling your home.

When It’s time to Replace an Aging Air Conditioner

While you can extend the life of your air conditioner by regularly maintaining it and ensuring it doesn’t work harder than necessary, an aging unit will eventually need replacement.

If your air conditioner is over ten years old, is losing efficiency, and needs more repairs, it’s probably time to consider purchasing a new unit.

The pros at Chas Roberts can help you choose the best new energy-efficient air conditioner for your home.

Conclusion

Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained will help ensure it keeps working to keep you cool on the hottest days.

Taking steps at home, such as changing air filters regularly, will also help extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it working at maximum efficiency all summer.

Chas Roberts has been family-owned and operated for over 75 years and is the oldest and largest residential HVAC company in Arizona. Contact us for reliable, quality service.

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