The average air conditioning system lasts 8-12 years before you should expect to replace it. However, there are several environmental factors that affect an air conditioner’s longevity including how you use the unit, its overall condition, and its maintenance history. The harder your system must work to cool your home, the faster parts will wear out and fail, affecting your comfort and causing further damage to the system. Learning the factors that strain your air conditioner allows you to take steps to reduce stress on the system, which will lower your home’s cooling bills, increase the comfort in each room, and put off the time when you need to consider a replacement air conditioner.
Keep Your AC Clean
Dirt and dust affect how your air conditioner functions in numerous ways. As dirt collects in the air filter, it causes a drop in airflow that makes your air conditioner work harder to pull in air for cooling. Similarly, dirty fan blades on your air conditioner’s outdoor condenser reduce airflow and cause excess stress on the system. Dirt and dust that coat interior components of your AC will also cause the system to strain to provide the cooling you want, resulting in premature wear that lowers overall efficiency and puts the entire system at risk for a breakdown. The simplest way to keep your air conditioner clean is to change the filter regularly and keep the area around your outdoor condenser clear. Scheduling biannual AC maintenance visits gives your HVAC technician the opportunity to clean the system’s interior regularly and reduces strain as well.
Have Your Ducts Inspected
Central air conditioners push cooled air up into your ducts so it can reach the rest of your home. When your ducts are damaged or dirty, air can’t move efficiently through them and your air conditioning system is affected. Damaged ducts leak air into uninsulated spaces, resulting in “lost” work that means your air conditioner must operate longer and harder to reach the temperature you’ve set. Dirty ducts reduce the space through which air can flow, increasing strain on your HVAC system’s blower motor, causing it to wear out or fail prematurely. Repairing and cleaning your ducts can have a significant impact on your cooling bills, increasing home comfort and reducing the amount you pay monthly to achieve the temperature you want.
Eliminate Heat Sources
The temperature outside is not the only source of heat inside your home. Computer systems, televisions, and even lighting and appliances can all contribute heat to your living space. Taking a few simple steps to reduce additional heat during the hottest parts of the day can go a long way toward lowering the amount of strain on your air conditioning system. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lights will lower your home energy usage and eliminate inadvertent heating when you turn on your lights. Using your microwave or grill to cook food on hot days can also help to keep your home cooler. Closing the shades in sunny rooms and turning off your computer or television when they aren’t in use are also positive steps toward a more comfortable home and more efficient air conditioner.
Do you need help lowering your cooling bills or addressing poor air conditioning performance in San Diego? Our website has more information about our extensive home cooling services, including repairs, replacement, maintenance, and additional air quality products for comfort and health. You can also check out our monthly blog to learn more about the factors that affect home comfort and how you can get the most from your cooling system.