Your air conditioner is a tremendous investment in your home, so naturally, you probably want to do everything you can to preserve it and ensure it will last as long as possible. Nobody likes having to spend money to replace something that breaks, much less the thousands of dollars it costs to replace a broken down air conditioner. However, keeping your system working smoothly for longer doesn’t have to be a full-time job or even something that’s nearly impossible and extremely expensive to do. In fact, it’s easier than you might think.
Here are three tips you can follow to prolong the life of your system and keep it running smoothly for many additional years to come!
Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clear
Your outdoor unit features two of the most important components in your entire air conditioning system: your compressor and your condenser coil. Both of these components need to remain clean and free from debris and dirt in order to function optimally. In fact, a dirty outdoor unit can lead to inefficiency, wasted energy, and an air conditioner that simply doesn’t seem like it works all that well anymore. One way you can help? Simply keep the area around your outdoor unit clean.
If you have any plants around your outdoor unit, trim them back to a radius of at least three feet away from your air conditioner. This ensures proper airflow through your air conditioner’s cooling fins and maximizes the transfer of heat into the air that’s then blown away by the fan. Likewise, take out a broom or rake every few months and remove any dirt, mud, dust, leaves, sticks, or other debris that may have accumulated in this area as well. This debris can get stuck in your cooling fins, preventing airflow and reducing heat transfer. It only takes a few minutes to clean this area, but your air conditioner will appreciate it and in turn could last several additional years.
Change Your Air Filter
Changing your air filter is such a remarkably simple maintenance procedure, and yet the overwhelming majority of homeowners we visit don’t change their filter nearly often enough. Your HVAC system depends on an air filter which is clean and in good condition to allow the most amount of air to pass through while also straining out the largest amount of dust and other debris. A filter that’s too dirty leads to inefficiency as well as a dirty indoor unit and even poor indoor air quality problems.
Air filters are usually super inexpensive and can be picked up for just a few dollars from your local home improvement warehouse. If they don’t carry your exact filter, they can be purchased online, or even from most HVAC companies. Keep a few spares in a closet or in your attic for when you discover you need a change right away. You’d be surprised just how much changing your air filter can improve the overall health of your heating and cooling equipment and thus its lifespan.
Have Your System Maintained
Modern heating and cooling systems need to be regularly checked and maintained in order to ensure they remain in good health. While checking your air filter and keeping your outdoor unit clean are two simple things, a professional maintenance service is extremely important, and should be done at least once a year. A maintenance service includes a number of other things, including cleaning your coils, lubricating moving parts, inspecting belts, tightening electrical connections, checking pressures, and so much more. Maintenance can spot problems before they become a big, expensive repair and even prevent these catastrophic breakdowns from happening!
With how much we depend on our air conditioners here in Florida, most of us can’t even fathom being without our air conditioner for even a single day. By having your system inspected by a professional each year, there’s an even better chance you’ll never have to!