Alberta is no exception to the global heat trend! This means installing, and enjoying, central air conditioning at home has never been more rewarding.
Getting the most out of your HVAC investment requires some TLC and some consistent habits that will help your air conditioner run its best. These tips will also help your AC last longer.
Just like taking your car for a tune-up, professional AC attention once a year does wonders for your cooling performance. But these tips will also help your air conditioning live longer.
How Does an Air Conditioner Work?
Air conditioning is a term used to describe the regulation of temperature, humidity, purity, and air motion in an enclosed space.
In a typical air conditioner, the refrigerant in liquid form is passed through a set of evaporator coils that work to absorb heat from the air in your home. As the air cools, a fan blows the cold air into ducts that distribute it back into your home.
As the refrigerant is heated and turned into vapour, it travels through the coil into a condenser located outside your home. The outside air absorbs the heat from the refrigerant, lowering its temperature and returning it to a liquid to travel back indoors.
The process continues until the temperature in your home reaches your desired level and it shuts off.
1. Proper Maintenance
Air conditioners aren’t particularly high maintenance, but ensuring they have regular tune-ups can help them last longer. Getting a professional to inspect, clean, and tune-up your air conditioner will notify you of any issues as they arise.
Keeping your A/C unit in good condition will minimize any risk of complication and keep it running efficiently. Additionally, if any problems do present themselves, you can have your unit repaired promptly.
A healthy HVAC system runs more efficiently and will extend the life of your cooling equipment.
2. Turn Down Your AC While You’re Away
Like so many machines and devices we use daily, you don’t want your air conditioner running full tilt 24/7. Keeping your air conditioner on full blast puts stress on the system and may shorten its lifespan.
If you’re leaving your home for any length of time, you should turn up your air conditioner a few degrees to lessen the load. Try raising the thermostat temperature 2-3 degrees from what you normally find comfortable. Read this article for tips on ideal summer AC settings.
Smart thermostats are a great way to manage and optimize your air conditioner’s workload. These modern thermostats can be programmed to operate at peak hours (when you’re in the house) and relax during times you’re away.
Some smart thermostats can even link to your phone and anticipate your arrival to start cooling just before you arrive. Adding a programmable thermostat will likely make your air conditioner last longer.
3. Clean Your Ducts
If you notice your air conditioner is not functioning efficiently or failing to provide cool air, your air ducts are a good place to start the investigation. If your air ducts are dirty, they can slow the airflow into your home because of a buildup of debris.
A duct cleaning is also an opportunity for HVAC professionals to check for holes and cracks in your ducts. These gaps are terrible for efficiency and force your AC to work harder than it needs to. Working too hard is one way to shorten the lifespan of your cooling equipment.
Dirty air ducts can also significantly affect the air quality in your home. Having regular duct cleanings will provide proper airflow for cool air to distribute to your home and improve air quality.
4. Change Your AC Filters
The filters in your air conditioner can become clogged if they go too long without being replaced. A dirty, clogged filter can significantly affect the overall efficiency of the unit and the quality of your breathing air. Replacing them regularly will extend the lifespan on your unit and can save money on energy costs.
Generally, your HVAC air filters should be replaced every 3 months. If you’re doing a home renovation or live in a place exposed to wildfire smoke, filters may need to be replaced more frequently.
When you book an annual AC tune-up with Action Furnace, we’ll leave a year’s supply of air filters to help your air conditioner last longer.
5. Check for Leaks
Checking your unit for leaks can help prevent bigger repairs. Look for leaks around your AC condenser unit (probably outside) and near your indoor equipment. If you find liquid it could be leaking refrigerant.
When refrigerant is low, it forces your air conditioner to work harder. And refrigerant is a substance you don’t want leaking all over the place. Leaks indoors may be condensation not draining right.
Having a professional examine your unit for leaks at least once a year allows them to identify and fix problems that could cause a breakdown.
Benefits of Professional Tune-Ups
Having your system properly maintained and tuned-up regularly will ensure problems are addressed before they get worse. At Action Furnace, our techs perform thorough diagnostics to prevent and protect against breakdowns.
Professional tune-ups are important for extending your air conditioner’s life expectancy. Well-maintained systems don’t have to work as hard to provide your home with comfortable, cool air. A well-maintained unit uses less energy, saves you money, and lasts longer.
We want to help keep your air conditioner working smoothly for many years to come. Book your next maintenance appointment if it’s been a while.