FIVE THINGS THAT SHORTEN THE LIFE OF YOUR AC
JUL 27, 2017
It’s hot. The air conditioning feels delightful, and you want to keep it that way for a long time — especially if you just bought a new AC unit or replaced a bunch of parts. But, how do you make sure that happens? How do you ensure that your air conditioner stays strong for as long as possible? In this article we discuss five things that can shorten the life of your AC unit so you know what to look for.
EXTENDING THE LIFE OF YOUR AC UNIT
As we have talked out before, the more you can do you reduce the stress on your air conditioner the better. The main, broad cause for an air conditioner to not function properly is too much strain on the system. This strain, over time, also leads to the life expectancy of the unit decreasing significantly.
Let’s start with possibly the most overlooked factor, size. Typically, one would think the bigger the better. That is absolutely not the case. If your house needs a 4 ton unit, using a 5 ton unit could prove to be a disaster. Air conditioning units these days are designed to be efficient, cooling your house over time. If you oversize your unit, it may cool your house very quickly, but then it will shut off. And then on, and then off, and so on and so forth. This puts a lot of strain the unit the defeats the purpose of modern, efficient air conditioning units. Because of the constant on-off, your electric bill will increase as a result and causes unnecessary strain on your air conditioner.
At the same time, under-sizing the unit to save money or because “it’s close enough” will result in the unit running constantly because it can’t keep up with the need. This stresses the components of the system, and again leads to running up your electric bill. This is just one of the many factors to be considered to make sure you have the correct AC unit for your home.
TAKE A LISTEN
Your AC unit, like anything else in your life, needs attention. That means you need to learn the sounds and character of your air conditioner, so you will be able to identify a potential problem. If it is making noises it usually doesn’t make and you ignore it, there is a chance it may be fine for a while. But over time that can lead to a breakdown and strain on the unit that could have been avoided. Listen for grinding, squeaking or grating noises. Pay attention when your compressor kicks on and off. If it starts making a clanking noise, there is a good chance something is wrong.
Regular professional maintenance is a must to make sure you stretch the life of your air conditioner as long as possible. AC units here in the valley take a beating due to the heat and weather conditions. Having a technician come out and take a look to make sure there is not a problem is a must. A smaller problem caught during routine maintenance and inspection can prevent a large problem – and large cost – down the road. Preventative maintenance will also prolong the life of your air conditioning unit.
KEEP IT CLEAN
A simple way to make sure you have long life from your air conditioning unit is to keep your system clean. Changing your air filters regularly keeps your system free from dust and dirt, and allows air to flow more efficiently through your system. The general rule of thumb for filters is every 60 days or so. However, during the summer months with monsoon season here in Phoenix, you may need to change them more often than that. If you notice more dirt and dust on the filter than normal, or you hear a whistling noise as air is going through the filter, it need to be changed.
While we’re talking about keeping clean filters, also remember to have your ducts cleaned every few years, or if you notice they seem to be dirtier than normal. This also allows your system to work more efficiently, prolonging the life of your unit.
The last thing you can do to keep your AC unit running as long as possible is somewhat out of your control. Debris, dirt, dust and unfortunately, heat can strain your air conditioner and shorten its life. Debris, dirt and so on can be cleaned and removed easily. Heat however, is what it is. If your unit is ground-level, planting a tree to block the sun from constant exposure may be a good idea. Just remember to watch for leaves or branches that may have fallen or been blown off so they don’t block your unit. If you have a roof-mounted unit, there is not a whole lot you can do to prevent sun exposure. The best thing you can do is to follow all of the other items mentioned above; size your unit correctly, learn the noises your air conditioner makes when it runs properly, perform regular preventative maintenance, maintain for air filters and duct and keep debris and dirt clear from your unit.
To have one of our professional technicians come take a look at your AC unit (knocking out the third item on this article’s list) and to give you personalized recommendations to extend the life of your AC unit, give us a call today. We have same-day appointments available and all of our work is guaranteed.