The expected lifespan of your air conditioner depends on several factors. You’ll have to consider when you purchased it and the make of the system. The expected lifespan is also determined by how often you use the AC and whether or not it is properly maintained. Even when the cooling system is utilized in short spurts, it should be periodically inspected and returned to its manufacturer’s specifications for the best results.
At Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Norcross, GA, we’ve been inspecting AC units for several years, and we can do the same for you. Here are some ways that you can help expand the life expectancy of your AC unit.
The total life expectancy of your AC unit is truly determined by how well it is maintained on an annual basis. You can do things like change the air filter at regular intervals. When it comes to getting down to the nuts and bolts, however, you are encouraged to call in professionals like us.
During maintenance, we will:
- Clean the condenser coils
- Top off the coolant levels
- Calibrate the thermostat
- Inspect the ductwork to determine the amount of output loss
All these steps, among others, are aimed at preventing future repairs and early replacement of parts. Your AC unit is an investment. We want to make sure that it remains in good shape so that you can enjoy a return on that investment. If we notice that the unit is getting close to the end of its life, we can help you prepare by going over your options based on a load calculation and other information.
Keep the Unit Clean
Most cooling systems have indoor and outdoor components. The indoor component has to be free of immediate obstructions and dust buildup. The outdoor component has to remain free of immediate obstructions and natural debris. If you ever hear banging or clanking sounds from the unit while it is operating, turn it off. Then, open it from the outside and look for any obvious debris that found its way inside. If you do not see anything, call us to make an appointment to take a look.
Keeping the unit clean also means changing the air filter on a regular basis. Units that are not used often or in long spurts typically only require changing the air filter once a year. If your unit consists of a HEPA air filter, however, it needs to be changed at least once a month. HEPA air filters are extremely effective at capturing particles as small as single-digit microns. This means that they are building up a layer of dust and other particles far more quickly.
A dirty air filter can cause the AC unit to overheat and, therefore, stop operating. If there is enough buildup inside the unit, the rest of the parts will start to get dirty as well. It is important to note that overheating due to a dirty air filter is preventable.
Check the Airflow
If you notice that there are hotspots in your home while the AC unit is running, it is often due to problems with airflow. There is either a problem in output loss due to leaks in the ductwork or an obstruction impeding the output from the unit directly.
A unit that is operating as intended will not have airflow issues. When airflow issues are present, they could cause the unit to overheat and stop operating. Anytime there is stress on the parts of an AC unit, it causes them to work harder. This ages them prematurely. So, to extend the life of the cooling system in your home, be sure that the airflow is always maximized.
Spread Out Your Electricity Use
When the warm weather arrives in Atlanta, you are not the only one who is using the cooling system. When several members of the public are trying to remain comfortable in their homes, it puts a strain on the electrical grid. It also puts a strain on the cooling systems. So, you are encouraged to limit the use of your AC and other big-ticket appliances and electronics during peak hours.
When you are trying to achieve ultimate comfort in your home, this does not sound like the most convenient approach. Keep in mind, however, that ultimate indoor comfort is achieved by utilizing more than one cooling method. In a small space, the AC unit is all you need. Plus, since space is smaller, the unit does not have to run continuously. In large homes, you are presented with more challenges. By utilizing a combination of methods, though, each one helps the other.
Closing the curtains and blinds in rooms that receive direct sunlight, for example, is a great strategy to use that costs you nothing. Plus, it saves your furnishings from fading. You can also use strategically placed fans to help the air circulate. Ceiling fans are among the popular choices that do not require excessive amounts of extra energy use.
Electronics that use electricity give off heat. This includes items such as lamps. Consider using these items less during peak hours. You are also encouraged to wait to wash and dry your clothes when the sun begins to set.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Early adopters have begun to make the move to turn their homes into smart homes. It is not mainstream yet, but other people have started to add elements of a smart home to theirs, too. A smart thermostat is one of those elements.
These devices help to extend the life expectancy of your AC unit. They also improve temperature control. A manual thermostat is not precise. It can be off by an average of five degrees. A smart thermostat, on the other hand, is far more precise with an error rate of an average of half a degree.
Once you sync the device with your home’s Wi-Fi, you are ready to couple it with the corresponding app. From your smartphone or tablet, you can control the thermostat. As you begin setting up your preferences, the software and machine learning begin to remember your habits. This causes the unit to begin optimizing itself. An optimized thermostat that has a severely low error rate leads to improved energy efficiency and an improved cooling system overall.
Get Proper Insulation
If your home includes an attic or basement, these areas must be insulated. Furthermore, warped windows or door frames must be fixed. The goal is to insulate your home in a manner that prevents leaks.
When your indoor air escapes, you are probably going to run the cooling system longer. This leads to higher energy costs and use, which is not ideal. HVAC technology has evolved. At every step of the way, professionals did the best they could with the solutions that were available at the time. Today, there is no reason for wasted energy.
To learn more about extending the life expectancy of your AC unit, give us a call at Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing and schedule an appointment. In addition to cooling services, we also offer heating and plumbing repair services throughout Greater Atlanta.