If you have central air conditioning, the last thing you want to experience is to have it go out in the middle of a heat wave or worse, need replacing altogether. Here are eight tips to help you extend your AC unit's longevity, which may also help you save on your utility bills and keep the HVAC technician off your emergency speed dial.
Position the Unit Properly When It's First Installed
Before you even flip a switch on your AC, you can improve its life's length by placing it in the proper position relative to your home. Your AC compressor should be on the shadiest side of the house and/or under trees that offer protection from the sun without blocking air flow. When your air conditioner is in the steady sun all day, it has to work harder and is, therefore, subject to breaking down faster.
Know Your Warranty Information
Many people put off doing repairs because they think they have to pay out of pocket when actually, their air conditioner warranty would cover the job. Read all your warranty information, and take advantage of repairs and replacements that are covered.
Have Your HVAC Inspected Regularly
While it's a good idea to check your air conditioner in the spring before you start to use it, it may also be wise to have a professional inspection in the fall too, before you shut it down for the year. Combine a post-season AC inspection with a checkup on your heat before cooler weather sets in.
Give Your AC a Professional Cleaning
In addition to checking your air conditioning unit for operability, have it cleaned at least once a year too. You may see articles about DIY coil cleaning and the like, but this job is best left up to a qualified HVAC technician. You don't want to void your warranty by doing something incorrectly in the cleaning process.
Keep Your Ducts Clean
Just like keeping your air conditioner in the sun all day, when your ducts are dirty and clogged, your AC has to run harder too. Depending on your living environment, you may want to have your ducts cleaned anywhere from once a year (think pet hair or desert grit) to once every few years.
Protect Your Outside Compressor
In addition to making sure your compressor is free of twigs and overhanging brush, you can further protect it with new products on the market. These screens wrap around your unit to keep detritus out. Never wrap your AC unit in plastic as this can cause moisture buildup that leads to mold, mildew and rust.
If your yard sees heavy traffic from kids and/or pets, consider fencing off your compressor. Pets won't be tempted to jump on it, and it will be safe from errant soccer balls and other projectiles.
Use a Setback Thermostat
Another way to keep your AC from working harder than it should is to use a setback thermostat. This has the dual benefit of protecting the life of your air conditioner and helping to cut back on utility bills.
Have your thermostat checked as part of every HVAC inspection, and ask your area utility company where to set the temperature for your regional weather. They have all the data to give you the best running temperatures for day and night, including when you're home and when you're not.
Change Your Filters Regularly
Always have a spare high-quality filter ready, and check your filters regularly to replace them before they really get filthy. Use every mortgage payment as a reminder to check your HVAC filters, and you'll never forget to do it again. This is one more way to keep your AC from running harder than it has to.
If you do all of the above, chances are you'll only see your HVAC technician when it's time for a cleaning or inspection. Of course, if you do run into trouble, call a professional, such as one from A-1 Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electrical LLC, right away. Another way to keep your AC running as long as possible is to never let little problems morph into bigger ones.Share
17 November 2015
I know it can be difficult to make yourself think about getting your furnace running when the skies are sunny and the temperatures are hovering around 90, but it is the best time for you to think about your heating system. Getting ahead of the winter preparation game will help to save on the cost of the repairs because the need for furnace maintenance is usually at a low during the fall season. This blog will show you what you can do to prepare your furnace for winter and when you should hire a professional HVAC technician to take care of it for you.