Home and business owners understand the importance of having an air conditioner unit in your space that you can rely on. These appliances are more than purchases, they are major investments into the comfort and climate control of our spaces. It is possible to extend the lifespan of your HVAC system by keep it serviced with regular maintenance.
Routine air conditioner service will allow you to monitor your air quality, reduce utility bills, and ultimately extend the life of your HVAC unit. Regular wear and tear cannot be avoided, however, routine maintenance can catch small problems as they begin to develop and prevent major breakdowns, which saves you money.
Direct Energy shares the following tips to extend the life of your air conditioner:
1. Schedule two tune ups per year.
HVAC systems aren’t particularly high maintenance, but that doesn’t mean routine maintenance isn’t important. Your air conditioner and furnace should both be inspected, cleaned and tuned up every year. It’s best to schedule your air conditioner service in spring and your furnace service in late summer or early fall — that way, your system will be optimized for efficiency the first day you need it, and if a serious problem is discovered, you can deal with it before it comes time to switch systems.
Tune ups typically include a thorough inspection and lubrication of all moving parts, condenser cleaning, clearing buildup out of the condensate drain tube, checking refrigerant levels, replacing filters, checking the heat exchanger for cracks and other tasks that make your system safer, more efficient and longer-lasting.
2. Change the filter regularly.
Though your HVAC technician should check your filters during your twice-annual checkups, this task is really up to the homeowner. Most homeowners use disposable 30-day fiberglass filters or 3-month pleated filters, and these should be checked regularly. If they’re seriously dirty, they should be replaced, even if it’s ahead of schedule.
A dirty air filter means that your HVAC system has to work harder to circulate air throughout your home. This can be especially taxing on the fan, but the whole system can suffer when it can barely breathe.
3. Use the “auto” fan setting.
Most HVAC systems have two fan settings: “auto” instructs the fan to run only when the system is actively heating or cooling, and “on” instructs the fan to run constantly. Some systems have dual-speed fans, which allow for a slower, more energy-efficient fan setting between heating and cooling cycles.
There are benefits to using the “on” setting. It helps trap more dust, and in homes with people who have respiratory sensitivities or allergies, it can help make it easier to breathe. But the major disadvantage is that it forces the system to work much harder, and that shaves time off of its life. It also leads to filters that clog up faster, so if you don’t change them regularly, you could really be taxing your system.
4. Check up on your condenser.
Somewhere outside your home is your air conditioner’s condenser, which is built to stand up to the elements. It can, however, become damaged from hail or windblown debris from severe storms. Every once in a while, and especially after every major storm, look over your condenser for signs of damage.
While you’re at it, be sure to clear away any accumulation of leaves or weeds on or around the condenser. If vegetation is growing right next to the unit, cut it down. Your condenser needs room to breathe, too.
5. Upgrade your insulation.
The less often your HVAC system runs, the longer it will last. And in the struggle to keep your treated air inside your home, insulation is your best friend.
The most important place to check for sufficient insulation is in your attic. The amount and type you need varies by region, so check the Environmental Protection Agency’s insulation climate map and guidelines for insulation upgrades.
If you have insufficient insulation throughout your home, it may also be worthwhile to insulate your basement or add more insulation into wall cavities. The best way to locate and evaluate your insulation weak spots is to schedule a professional energy audit.
6. Get a smart thermostat.
The latest in thermostat technology, smart thermostats are easy to program and control from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. Some models can even learn your HVAC habits and schedule so they can make energy-saving adjustments without any programming at all.
When it’s easier to micromanage your thermostat settings, it’s easier to use your system less. And that will make it last longer.
7. Take other steps to ease the burden on your system.
Don’t stop with just the smart thermostat; give your system a break by using your ceiling fans during hot weather to stay cool while pushing the temperature a little higher. Invest in reflective shades to block out unwanted heat from the sun.
Affordable HVAC Services Near Me
Autumn Mechanical — formerly Autumn Air delivers a single-point resource for mechanical contracting and service. Based in Spring, TX, Autumn Mechanical specializes in HVAC, plumbing, and refrigeration services. Serving customers in Houston, Dallas, and surrounding areas, our professional technicians serve with expertise and integrity.
With over 30 years of experience in the air conditioning and heating business, the team at Autumn Mechanical has built a trusted reputation throughout the communities of Houston. Our air conditioning services include, but are not limited to, residential/commercial AC and heating, repair, service, installation, maintenance, and heat pump equipment repair.
Whenever you are looking for high-quality air conditioning and heating services at a day affordable price, we can help! We service and replace both commercial and residential HVAC systems in order to bring you the ultimate climate control. Autumn Mechanical proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including Briarpark, Midtown, Sugar Land, Cypress, Pearland, The West University Place, The Heights, Spring, Willowbrook, Houston,Spring Branch, and The Woodlands. Don’t hesitate, give us a call today to find out what we can do for your home or business.