How To Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner - Home & Texture
Home Maintenance Air Conditioner Lifespan

Yes, It Is Possible To Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner—Here's How

Don't lose your cool—literally—and keep your AC running smoothly for years to come.

March 14, 2024 at 5:52 PM PST

When the temperatures outside start climbing, there’s only so much time until you’re ready to shut the doors and windows and crank the AC down. Few things truly feel as wonderful as blasting cold, refreshing air on a warm summer day. It’s one of those things that when it’s working fine, you can go about your day uninterrupted. But when it breaks down—somehow always during record-breaking heat waves—it can make your cozy, comfortable home into a miserable sweatbox. Since air conditioners can break the bank pretty easily, you’ll want to preserve it as long as possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan.

Regular Maintenance

While it may seem obvious, many homeowners tend to overlook that ACs can benefit from regular maintenance. Why wait until it fails to identify any issues? Have a professional come out and inspect it at most twice a year. If they find any warning signs, you can take care of them right away. It might only cost you a few hundred dollars for parts and service rather than dropping thousands on a new unit.

Keep the Filter Clean

Changing out the filter in your air conditioner ducts is something you should do a little more often, once every month or every other month. Regularly cleaning or replacing filters is like giving your AC unit a breath of fresh air, quite literally. Additionally, keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of leaves, branches, and other obstructions to make sure it has optimal airflow. A little cleanliness goes a long way in extending your air conditioner’s lifespan.

Photo credit: Grace Cary

Mindful Thermostat Practices

While it’s tempting to dial the temperature down to Arctic levels during a heatwave, this can place unnecessary strain on your AC. Not only that, but it will send your energy bills soaring. Find a temperature you’re comfortable with, and set it higher when you leave the house instead of turning it off.

Other Cooling Methods

You don’t have to rely solely on your air conditioner to keep your home cool. Consider these other methods to beat the heat.

  • Adding ceiling fans to circulate air and create a gentle breeze.
  • Closing curtains or blinds during the hottest parts of the day to block out sunlight and reduce heat gain.
  • Using portable fans or evaporative coolers in specific rooms to provide targeted cooling.
  • Investing in reflective window film or shades to minimize solar heat gain.

Ventilation Matters

Proper ventilation isn’t just crucial for stuffy rooms; it’s a lifeline for your air conditioner. Make sure that vents remain unobstructed to allow for smooth airflow throughout your home. Blocked vents can force your AC to work harder than necessary, leading to premature wear and tear.

air conditioner
Photo credit: Schon

What causes AC units to break?

Other than ignoring maintenance, overuse, dirty filters and simply age, there are a few other factors that might cause your unit to give out.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioner, responsible for absorbing heat from indoor air and cooling your home. However, refrigerant leaks can wreak havoc on your AC’s efficiency and longevity.

Electrical Issues

From faulty wiring to worn-out capacitors, electrical problems can spell trouble for your air conditioner. Loose connections, damaged wires, or malfunctioning components can disrupt the unit’s operation and pose safety hazards.

Seek Professional Help

When it comes to your air conditioner’s health, don’t play guessing games. If you notice unusual noises, funky odors, or a decline in performance, don’t hesitate to call the professionals. Certified HVAC technicians have the expertise and tools to diagnose and address issues before they escalate into major headaches. Remember, proactive maintenance is the key to preventing costly repairs and keeping your air conditioner’s longevity.



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