If you’re local to the valley like we are, you know just how important it is to have an air conditioner you can rely on for years. With the proper handle and care, an air conditioning unit should last about 10 to 15 years. We’ve put together a list of seven ways that you can extend the life of your unit in order to get the most out of your air conditioning system.
1. Keep up With Annual Maintenance
Keeping up with annual maintenance is one of the best things you can do to keep your air conditioner running at its best for years to come. The average air conditioner runs for about 3,300 hours per year in the Phoenix area. All that runtime accelerates wear-and-tear, especially in unforgiving desert where harsh weather conditions hasten system deterioration. That leads to problems like equipment failure, higher energy, poor performance, and even complete breakdowns. Without proper maintenance, small problems can go unnoticed until the only solution is a complete system replacement. A trained technician knows how to spot signs of trouble before they turn into bigger (and more expensive) headaches.
At Larson Air Conditioning, our technicians use a thorough 34-point checklist to make sure all components of your air conditioner, no matter how small, are inspected and maintained. These include:
- Measuring refrigerant levels
- Performing test-runs of capacitors
- Inspecting wiring, fan blades, circuit boards, and condenser coils
- Tightening loose screws, and replacing missing ones
- Checking thermostats, air filters, and return ducts
- And more
If it’s been a while since your air conditioner was maintained, there’s no time like the present to get back on schedule. We recommend scheduling two visits per year: One in the spring (prior to the cooling season) and one in the fall (prior to the heating season) to ensure your system is ready to tackle whatever temperatures come its way. With a Larson maintenance plan, you’re guaranteed two maintenance visits per year, as well as priority scheduling and more benefits that make it easy to take care of your air conditioner.
2. Clean and Seal Your Ducts
We can’t express enough just how important it is to have your air ducts cleaned and properly sealed. A duct cleaning and proper seal will help keep your A/C unit in check and prevent dust and dirt that can build up inside your ducts and blow into your home. If done properly, you shouldn’t need a duct cleaning often, except in special circumstances like new construction.
It’s also important to ensure your ducts are sealed and protected against leaks. In a typical house, ENERGY STAR estimates 20 to 30 percent of cooled air is lost through duct cracks, leaks or poorly sealed joints. Larson technicians can test existing ducts for leaks and recommend duct repair, duct sealing or duct replacement when necessary.
3. Change your Filters Regularly
Changing your filters regularly is important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and extending the life of your A/C unit. Filters attract dust, dirt, and debris, and if they’re not changed often, those contaminants can make their way into the air in your home.
A dirty or blocked filter will place strain on your air conditioner. This can waste energy and lead to increased wear and tear on the system. Simply setting a reminder to change your filters every 30 days can save you energy, improve indoor air quality, and keep your air conditioner running well in the long run.
4. Do Not Obstruct Air from Circulating
Regardless of which type of unit you have, an A/C unit is meant to circulate cool air throughout your home. Make sure all the necessary vents are open and able to fully circulate air. It’s a myth that closing vents in rooms you’re not occupying will save energy. Let the system run as it’s supposed to, free of obstructions.
5. Keep an Ear Out for New or Troubling Noises
Air conditioners aren’t always quiet, but some noises could be signs of trouble. It’s a good idea to keep an ear out for new noises or anything that doesn’t sound quite right—it could be the difference between a minor repair and a total system breakdown.
Noises you may hear from your air conditioner can include:
Note that it’s normal for your air conditioner to have some operational noise, and some normal noises can mimic abnormal ones. When in doubt, call the pros at Larson to determine if what you’re hearing is nothing to worry about, or if it’s cause for concern.
We’re here to help your air conditioner
For any questions, comments, or concerns about your air conditioning unit, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 480-428-0600. Let’s keep your A/C unit happy and healthy for as long as possible!