A good quality, well-maintained air conditioner can give you up to 20 years of reliable service, while a neglected system may need replacing shortly after its 10th birthday. While neither system will live forever, you can help extend the life of your aging A/C one more season, with the proper maintenance procedures and a little TLC.
- Lend a hand. Help your cooling system by supplementing with floor and ceiling fans in occupied rooms, enabling you to raise the temperature of the thermostat a few degrees. The wind-chill effect from the resulting air movement cools by increasing the rate of perspiration on the surface of the skin, but because fans only cool people and not rooms, turn them off when you leave the room. Each degree you can raise the thermostat while using fans will save you between 3 and 5 percent on your A/C costs.
- Do your part.
- Regular filter changes enhance airflow, increase efficiency and improve indoor air quality; during peak cooling season, change or wash your filter once a month.
- Keep the area around and above the outdoor condenser unit free of debris, including grasses, weeds or shrubbery, any of which can hamper airflow or damage the motor, belts or blades.
- Inspect your ductwork on an annual basis, looking for cracks or breaks. Repair these areas with foil-backed tape or duct mastic; leaky ducts can decrease efficiency and place undue stress on parts, as your A/C works harder to deliver air at the desired temperature.
- Hire a professional. Keep your system in top shape through annual preventive maintenance, where your contractor will clean, tune, lubricate and check refrigerant levels.
- Take it easy.
- Set your programmable thermostat several degrees higher while you’re away from home for the day or on vacation.
- Keep doors and windows closed during A/C operation.
- Minimize humidity indoors by using exhaust fans while bathing, showering, cooking or doing laundry, making sure they vent to the outside rather than to the attic.
For more information on extending the life of your A/C, call the experts at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., Inc., proudly serving homeowners in Tampa, Clearwater and the surrounding areas.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com