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8 Tips to Keep Your AC Running Longer

An air conditioner can be a big investment for a homeowner, whether a large unit designed to cool the whole home, or a small unit designed for a single room. It’s just common sense to want that air conditioner to last as long as possible, right?

While it’s not possible to install an air conditioner and have the unit last forever, it’s typical for most units to last about 15 years. There are things you can do to extend the life of your AC unit.

8 Ways To Keep Your AC Running Longer



     1. Invest in a high quality unit from the start.

Don’t just choose the lowest priced system. With some research, you’ll be able to find an air conditioner that meets your needs and does so at the right price point. Many companies suggest looking at specific things when you’re comparing units, like high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings, and looking for specific features, like a two-stage compressor.


    2. Schedule regular maintenance.

Having a technician come in to inspect your air conditioner is about more than just changing filters. During that kind of visit, the technician does things like test electrical systems, tighten electrical connections, inspect duct work, check coolant levels and measure the difference between temps at the register and the pump. It’s not just changing a filter and shining a light into a vent to see what they can see.


    3. Change air filters regularly.

Some companies suggest changing the air filter “when it’s dirty,” but that’s very vague and easy to forget. Creating a schedule can mean that your AC system will run better and last longer. The U.S. Department of Energy says that changing the filter regularly can increase the efficiency of your air conditioner by up to 15 percent. There is no hard and fast rule about when to change an air filter, but to create a schedule, some people do this when the seasons change, or more frequently. Consider the air quality, the type of filter, and how often your air conditioner runs when you’re creating that schedule.


    4. Clean the drain line and drain pans often.

To ensure that grime and dirt aren’t keeping the coolant and other fluids from flowing properly, it’s important to clean out the drain line, drain pan and connections to the drain. Pooling water in the drain can lead to mold growth, which could lead to health issues for individuals in your home. Clean the drain line and the drain pan (as well as connections to the drain) regularly, preferably at the same time to create a consistent schedule.


    5. Don’t let animals urinate on outdoor units.

When a dog relieves itself on an HVAC unit, the refrigerant lines and fins could become corroded. Over time, the rust does more than just look bad – it can actually lead to leaks in the system and affect how the air conditioner works.


      6. Place the outdoor unit in the right spot.

The north or east sides of the home are great locations to place the outdoor component. This spot may be out of direct sunlight, which helps. When you’re installing the unit, allow room for air to flow all around and at least 4-6 feet clearance from the top of the compressor.


      7. Have ducts inspected for leaks.

Inspections of the ductwork in your home can tell you whether you need more insulation, or if your system is okay and not a victim to leaks in the duct system. This kind of inspection can also tell you whether it was installed properly in the first place. A tightly insulated and properly installed system means fewer leaks and waste; it also means a better functioning cooling system.


    8. Open the vents.

It seems like common sense to close the registers in rooms that aren’t regularly used, right? Not so fast. Closing vents in these rooms can actual put more pressure on the air conditioner unit as a whole. This increased pressure can lead to leaks in the ducts and less air movement, which means less efficiency in cooling your home. Open vents mean that there’s less resistance to the air and the system won’t have to work as hard, or as long to cool your home. This means less wear and tear on your air conditioning system.


A well-maintained air conditioner works more efficiently as it cools your home. This means it will last a little longer and you won’t be spending as much money on energy bill each month. Aren’t both of those wins?

Home Service Doctors is ready with experts on hand to help you solve all of your Air Conditioning problems, from tune ups to replacement!

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