The air conditioner that you install in your Niles, OH home should provide between 15 and 20 years of reliable service. To ensure optimum value from your purchase, it’s essential to take good care of your cooling equipment. The following are five easy ways to extend the lifespan of your AC.
1. Have a Professional Size and Install Your Home Cooling Equipment
No matter how accurately you measure your home’s square footage, there’s no sure way to accurately size an air conditioner with square footage alone. Licensed HVAC contractors use the Manual J load calculation to determine correct air conditioner sizes. This complex calculation accounts for a number of building and household-specific factors, including:
- Ceiling heights
- Window types and sizes
- Insulation amounts and R values
- The number of building occupants
Using online charts of recommended BTU amounts strictly based on building sizes could leave you with cooling equipment that’s the wrong size. Oversized and undersized AC units work harder than correctly sized air conditioners. They also sustain more wear and tear and experience more problems.
2. Schedule an Annual AC Tune-up Service
All residential air conditioners should be professionally tuned up at least once each year. In fact, many AC manufacturer warranties, home insurance policies, and home service agreements require it. Annual inspections and maintenance give our technicians the chance to catch and resolve small problems. During these visits, we thoroughly clean internal and external components, swap out worn parts, calibrate thermostats, and check the performance levels of the unit. Not only will your AC last much longer with yearly tune-up service, but it will also provide quieter and more efficient overall performance.
3. Change Your HVAC Air Filters Regularly
Contrary to popular belief, HVAC air filters aren’t designed with indoor air quality (IAQ) in mind. Instead, these components remove dust, dander, hair, and other particulates before this debris can settle on AC evaporator coils and other parts. Any IAQ benefits supplied by air filters are secondary to this purpose. Without a working filter, your air conditioner will eventually malfunction and overheat.
You should inspect your air conditioner’s filter monthly. Experts recommend that you change it approximately every 30 to 90 days. If you have a lot of pets or dust, you may need to change your filter more often.
When performing HVAC air filter changes, be sure to inspect the openings of your HVAC air ducts, vents, and grilles for accumulated debris as well. You can typically vacuum these openings or wipe them with a damp cloth. This is also a good time to ensure that all of the HVAC air vents throughout your home are open. Closing vents off to customize the delivery of cooled air places unnecessary strain on air conditioners and shortens their lifespans.
4. Take Good Care of Your HVAC Air Ducts
Damaged and leaky air ducts place a lot of undue stress on heating and cooling equipment. If you have leaky air ducts, this can reduce airflow from your vents. This will affect your indoor comfort and can raise your home energy bills.
HVAC air ducts last between 10 and 15 years. Given that their average lifespan is so similar to that of residential ACs, it’s often best to have these features inspected during AC installation. Depending on their location, you can replace ductwork in areas where it is exposed and re-sealed in areas where ductwork is behind walls and in other hard-to-reach locations. Experts recommend that HVAC air ducts should be professionally inspected each year and professionally cleaned every two to five years.
5. Maintain Clearance Around the Perimeter of Your AC Condenser
Clear the area around your air conditioner’s outside condenser unit to allow adequate airflow. This unit should have a minimum of two feet of clearance on all sides. During spring when the trees, shrubs, and weeds on your property are fast-growing, you should inspect and maintain the perimeter of your AC condenser every two to four weeks as needed. Falling leaves can also affect your condenser. This is especially important to know if your air conditioning comes from a heat pump that is used all year.
Since 1960, we’ve been proudly serving residents of Niles, Ohio and the surrounding area. We offer drain cleaning, plumbing, heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. We also provide sump pump services, radiant heating, and preventative maintenance plans. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact A To Z Dependable Services now.