An air conditioner is among the most expensive appliances, and one of the most expensive investments you can make in your home. The best way to make the most of your investment is to take good care of your cooling system so it continues to cool the air efficiently for a long time.
The average life expectancy of a residential air conditioner is 10 to 15 years. However, whether your air conditioner will last 15 years in good condition or require replacement sooner comes down to how you use and maintain it.
Below, we share nine things you can do to ensure your Houston air conditioning system stays in good working condition for as long as possible.
9 Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your AC System
- Have It Serviced by a Professional At Least Once A Year
- Clean or Replace the Air Filters Regularly
- Keep the Condenser Unit Clean and Clear
- Keep an Eye and Ear on Your AC System
- Reduce the Indoor Heat Load
- Upgrade the Insulation in Your Home
- Use Alternative Methods to Keep Your Home Cool
- Don’t Run Your Air Conditioner All the Time
- Install a Smart Thermostat
1. Have It Serviced by a Professional At Least Once A Year
The best way to ensure your air conditioning system will reach or even exceed its expected lifespan is to schedule a professional AC maintenance at least once a year.
A qualified Houston AC service technician will inspect all the components of your cooling system, and clean and tune up the AC to ensure it’s in tip top shape. Small issues will be identified and fixed before they can cause major problems.
Preventative maintenance for your AC pays. Yearly air conditioning tune-ups by a certified technician will keep your system working optimally and ensure you won’t have to replace your unit sooner than necessary.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filters Regularly
Checking and cleaning or replacing the air filters regularly is one of the simple yet most effective things you can do to take care of your air conditioner and ensure it will keep you comfortable for a long time.
Clogged filters restrict airflow and cause your AC system to work harder in order to move the air effectively. Dirty filters also allow dust and dander to reach the internal components, which can cause the system to break down before the end of its lifecycle.
3. Keep the Condenser Unit Clean and Clear
The condenser unit is the heart of the air conditioning system. If it fails, the entire cooling system fails. Since it’s located on the outside of the house, the condenser is susceptible to dirt and grime buildup and debris, which can obstruct airflow and cause the air conditioner to strain and wear out faster.
Regular cleaning of the condenser unit will keep your air conditioning system working optimally and extend its longevity. While at it, clear any debris, grass, or bushes in and around the outdoor unit to give it at least two feet of breathing space all around the outdoor unit.
4. Keep an Eye and Ear on Your AC System
Visual inspection is one of the simplest ways to prolong the life of your air conditioner unit. Even after having your air conditioner maintained by an AC repair professional, it’s still important to monitor it continuously.
Inspect both the outdoor and outdoor unit. Walk around and listen for unusual sounds. This way, you can detect issues when they arise and have your AC repair contractor fix them before the system breaks down prematurely.
See also: Things to Know When Prepping Your Air Conditioner for Summer Heat.
5. Reduce the Indoor Heat Load
Running some appliances can raise the indoor heat and moisture and cause your unit to strain in order to maintain the desired temperature and humidity levels. By keeping heat and moisture emitting appliances off, you can reduce the indoor heat load and preserve your air conditioner.
Instead of cooking in the kitchen during the day, use the outdoor grill. Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night or in the morning when the air is cool. Make sure the humidifier is set to the summer or off setting. All these simple actions will extend the lifespan of your air conditioning unit by helping to keep its workload down.
6. Upgrade the Insulation in Your Home
Improving the insulation in your home will also improve the longevity of your air conditioner. Adequate insulation ensures the conditioned air stays in the room. Your home will remain cooler in the summer and your AC won’t have to work too hard to maintain your desired room temperature.
Consider adding insulation to the walls, ceiling, floor, and upgrade the insulation in the attic. Although insulating your home better will cost you, the investment will more than pay for itself in a few years. You will enjoy energy savings and delay the air conditioner replacement expense.
7. Use Alternative Methods to Keep Your Home Cool
Making your AC unit the only source of cool air in your house is a surefire way to shorten its life. It will have to work overtime and will only wear out faster. On the other hand, you can reduce the AC workload and extend its life expectancy by implementing other cooling methods as well.
The first thing you can do is make use of ceiling fans to circulate the conditioned air effectively and create a cooling effect. This way, you can set the thermostat a higher temperature and still enjoy cool air in your house. Installing reflective shades or insulated blinds also helps keep the heat out and lower the indoor temperature.
8. Don’t Run Your Air Conditioner All the Time
The longer your air conditioner is on, the more it has to work and the faster it will wear out and reach its expiry date. What you can do to prevent this is give your AC unit a rest as often as possible.
For example, you can turn it off when the weather outside is cooler and open the windows instead. You can also set the thermostat to maintain a higher temperature, close to the outdoor temperature when no one is home.
9. Install a Smart Thermostat
The thermostat is the equivalent of a brain for your air conditioner. The settings and modes you have selected can make or break your AC’s lifespan. The key to extending the life of your air conditioning system is to ensure that you’ve not set it to do unnecessary work.
Do you usually leave your fan on the on setting? Installing a smart thermostat will not only help you reduce your energy bills, but it will also prolong the life of your AC. You can program it to switch off the AC when the desired temperature is achieved or at specific moments of the day and to sleep mode at night.
As you can see, extending the lifespan of your air conditioner is all about taking good care of it and reducing how much it has to work. There are plenty of things you can do to accomplish this. And most of them are simple steps that won’t cost a thing.
Follow the above tips to reduce wear and tear of the system components and stay on top of your AC maintenance game to keep your air conditioner performing in tip top condition for a longer time!
If you need an experienced air conditioning repair technician in Houston, Sugar land, or Katy, TX areas, call Alpha 4 Real AC & Heating service at 281-347-7325 or complete this AC service request form today.