In Texas, your air conditioner is basically the difference between life and death in the summer. If your A/C goes out, you’re in serious trouble. One of your top priorities, when it comes to your home, should be prolonging the life of your HVAC unit. It’s a big investment and it’s vital to enjoying your time spent at home. To prolong the life of your air conditioner, follow these tips:
For your system to do its job, it has to breathe. Dirty and soiled filters cause your system to work harder than it needs to and can reduce the lifespan of your unit. Regularly replacing your filters according to your specific system’s timetable will not only help your system work as efficiently as possible, but also help to effectively remove dirt, dust, and allergens from the air circulating throughout your home.
Along the same lines, keeping the area surrounding your outdoor unit helps to ease the strain on your system as a whole. Air is brought into the outdoor unit, and when the intake area is blocked off, the system has to work extra-hard to keep up. There should be 1 to 3 feet of open horizontal space next to intake grilles and suitable space directly above the unit to prevent overheating. Keeping the space around your unit clean and clear will help to prolong the life of your air conditioner and prevent any fire hazards that could possibly develop.
Especially in the summer, running your air conditioner constantly is something that should be avoided whenever possible to ease the strain on your system. When you leave the house, raise (or lower in the winter) the temperature a few degrees. This will keep your system from running at full blast to maintain the temperature of an empty home, and keep your electric bill as low as possible. An even more effective way to decrease the wear and tear on your system is to install a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat gives you control over nearly every aspect of your HVAC system. You can adjust the temperature from your phone, set a schedule for when you’d like the temperature to be raised/lowered, and get detailed information about the performance of your system. By keeping your system from running at full blast while you’re not home, you’re lowering the wear and tear on and prolonging the life of your air conditioner.
Your thermostat measures the temperature inside your home and tells your system to raise or lower the temperature. If you have an appliance, lamp, or another heat source near the thermostat, its readings will be incorrect and cause the system to work much harder than it needs to. Keep appliances and heat sources away from your thermostat to ensure that it’s doing its job correctly and not needlessly overworking your system. If you cannot keep your thermostat from reading the temperature incorrectly, it’s possible that moving the thermostat to another wall will remedy the problem.
This may sound like common sense, but the heat let in by open windows and doors can cause your system to work much harder than it needs to maintain the constant temperature you’ve set. Blinds and curtains can help to keep out heat in the summer, especially during the hottest times of the day. Keep your doors and windows shut if the air conditioner or heater is on and take some of the load off of your HVAC system.
Along the same lines as the last tip, doors and windows that are improperly insulated/weatherproofed are a liability when it comes to keeping your home a constant temperature. Making sure that your home is properly insulated (including ductwork) will help to take some of the strain off of your system by making it easier to maintain a constant temperature. The less your system has to constantly work, the longer it’ll live.
Nothing can keep your system in top shape like routine maintenance. A qualified technician can identify problems before you even notice any difference in the performance of your system. The earlier these potential problems are detected, the better for your system (and pocketbook!) Routine maintenance appointments will pay for themselves in the instance a problem is found that can be addressed immediately, rather than waiting for something to break and turning into an emergency. Schedule a routine maintenance appointment today to make sure your system is kept in tip-top shape, is working as efficiently as possible, and to prolong the life of your air conditioner.
A Texas summer without air conditioning is something that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. If you’re proactive, you can prolong the life of your air conditioner and cut down on electricity bills. Follow the tips above to keep your HVAC system happy and effective for as long as possible. If you have any questions about your unit or how to increase efficiency, drop us a line!