When you make big purchases, you expect them to last a long time. When it comes to cars, no one wants to buy a lemon. And when it comes to AC units in the gloriously warm state of Florida, you want them to last as long as possible.
According to the Department of Energy, the average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is between 15 and 20 years. This will depend on the make and model and the maintenance it receives. So to make it last closer to the 20 year mark, a lot of it will depend on you.
What Can You Do to Extend the Life of Your AC?
1. Get an energy audit. This is the type of thing that sounds like way too much of a hassle. But having an energy audit will let you know if your home has any leaks that should be sealed, or if you need better insulation. Taking care of this will ensure that your AC isn’t working harder than it should to cool your home.
An auditor will also let you know if you need additional preventive care of your AC unit, depending on how many people live in your home and your hometown’s temperature changes throughout the year.
2. Change the air filters. Clean air filters will allow proper airflow throughout your AC unit. In fact, if they are covered in dust, you’ll end up with layers of ice covering the inner parts of your AC unit. This will result in your air conditioner working harder (while not releasing any cool air). In turn, you’ll get a higher energy bill for an AC that’s not even cooling your home.
How often you’ll need to change the filters depends on several factors:
– How many people live in your home
– Whether you have any pets
– Whether you live in your home year round
– Are there any smokers in your home?
– Do you have any allergy sufferers in your home?
– Do you live in a highly polluted area?
– Which type of air filters do you have? (newsflash: Cheaper ones will need to be replaced more often… So are you really saving money by going that route?)
3. Unbend the fins in your condenser unit. This part is located outside your home. You’ll see the walls of the condenser unit have small metal fins around them. These can bend with time, either by strong winds, pressure washing, or birds or rodents. You can get them back to their original position with a condenser fin comb.
4. Replace the fuses. While you’re outside, combing your condenser fins, locate the fuse box and do a continuity test with a multimeter. If both fuses don’t cause the multimeter to beep, buy a new fuse at a hardware store.
5. Clean the condensate drain lines. These are also located outside of your home. Over time, these drain lines get covered in mold and algae. Sometimes, you’ll even get a rodent in there.
6. Adjust the temperature when no one’s home. Most people are outside the home for most of the day. If you’re one of them, adjust the temperature 7 to 10 degrees from its usual setting so that your AC isn’t running on full blast when the house is empty. You can have this done automatically with a programmable thermostat.
7. Clean the area around the condenser unit. If there are any shrubs or trees near your condenser unit, keep them trimmed and regularly clean the debris around it. Fallen leaves and branches could get lodged in the condenser fins and obstruct air flow.
8. Get a tune up every once in a while. Having a yearly tune-up will help you find out about issues before they become real problems. Everything listed on this blog could be checked by an HVAC professional. He or she will know if a part needs maintenance or if it needs to be replaced.
Call Professionals for Help
At Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating, we have an entire team of HVAC professionals who can provide maintenance to your AC unit. Let us help you make it last as long as possible.
Contact us to request a quote. We’ll be happy to help.
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule service.