Air conditioners are necessary to handle the sometimes-unbearable summer that comes with living in Southern California. It’s no surprise that keeping your air conditioning unit in good shape will ensure you get more value from your investment.
Carrying out regular air conditioning maintenance is the best way to help lengthen the life of your home unit, but there are also a few things you can do at home. Here are some easy, and effective, AC maintenance tips.
How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
A central air conditioning unit will generally last from 15 to 20 years, although some units can last longer than that. High-efficiency (HE) air conditioners are better at keeping your house cool without using as much electricity, so they’ll last longer and save you money on your energy bill.
Air conditioning units are an expensive investment, so they deserve to be treated with the utmost care. By following these air conditioning maintenance tips, you’ll help prolong the life of your unit.
Schedule Two Tune-Ups Per Year
A good air conditioning maintenance service is not just about fixing a broken part. It’s about making sure your system is working at its best.
Regular tune-ups ensure your system runs at peak efficiency.
Even better, they help you save money on utility bills while extending the lifespan of your system and equipment.
An HVAC professional can perform a physical check of the unit and make recommendations for any repairs or maintenance. They will also be able to tell you if there are any safety issues with your unit, such as carbon monoxide leaks, smoke alarms, and fire safety issues, to be addressed immediately.
Give Your Air Conditioner a Rest from Time to Time
Air conditioners are designed to operate for short periods of time — typically 8 hours or less — while they’re working hard to keep your house comfortable. Turning them on and off regularly uses less energy and extends the life of your unit, so it costs less in the long run.
If the thought of turning your air conditioner off makes you sweat, try turning up the thermostat instead. The more you raise the thermostat the less work your unit has to do (saving you money on your energy bills).
Regularly Check and Change the Air Filter
The amount of dust and debris in the air affects how efficiently your system works. Air conditioners are designed to circulate cool air throughout your home, which means they suck in lots of dirt and dust.
Even when you’re not using your AC, it’s still necessary to regularly check your filter for dirt and debris.
Landscape Around Your Condenser
The condenser is the cooling unit that sits atop your air conditioner. It has a lot of moving parts, and if you don’t take care of it, it can break down and prevent your air conditioner from working properly.
It’s important to landscape your yard around it so any debris doesn’t get caught in the condenser’s fins and damage the unit.
4 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit
Your Energy Bills Are Sky High
You might not be able to see a pattern behind every increase in your bills, but if they’re consistently higher than they were the year before, you might have a problem with your air conditioning unit.
The efficiency of modern units is much greater than what was available even five years ago. The good thing is that investing in a newer model will save you money in the long term.
Repairs Are Becoming More Frequent
Fixing equipment that’s near the end of its service life can cost more than a new unit. If your unit is reaching the end of its lifespan (10-15 years old), it’ll be less costly to install a new one. And you can take the air conditioning repair team off the speed dial.
Your Home Feels Too Humid
An air conditioning system that’s working properly should be able to handle a humid environment. But if you notice condensation forming on the inside of your windows, air vents, or other surfaces, your air conditioning unit might have a problem.
Your Air Conditioning Unit Still Uses R-22 Freon
If your AC unit still uses R-22 Freon, it’s time to think about replacing it. That’s because R-22 Freon is no longer manufactured and has been banned by the US government.
You don’t need to panic though — you have time to replace your unit. But it does mean that any future repairs to a unit that contains R-22 Freon will be more costly.
Getting yourself in a hot sweat about your air conditioning unit? Contact the experts at Service Champions for more information about air conditioning maintenance and replacements.