Did you know that the average lifespan of a central AC system ranges from 10 to 15 years? However, with proper maintenance and care, you can extend its lifespan to 20 years or more! Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it also helps reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing the energy used to cool your home. So, dive right in and learn how to keep your air conditioner running like new.
Regularly change or clean your AC filters.
The most crucial maintenance step to prolong the life of your central AC system is to clean or replace its filters regularly. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow, reducing your system’s efficiency and increasing energy consumption. Ideally, you should change or clean your filters every 30-60 days, depending on usage and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Keep your outdoor unit clean and clear.
Your outdoor unit (the condenser) plays a significant role in your central AC system by releasing heat absorbed from your indoor air. Ensure there is no debris, such as leaves and dirt, collecting around the unit. Make it a habit to clean the area around the unit and trim any overgrown vegetation that could obstruct air circulation.
Keep an eye on your thermostat.
If you still use an older, non-programmable thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save money by automatically adjusting the temperature settings when you’re away or asleep. Furthermore, ensure the thermostat is installed in an area not affected by direct sunlight or drafts, as this can cause inaccurate readings and lead to your system working harder than necessary.
Insulate and seal your ductwork.
Your central AC system’s ductwork is responsible for distributing cool air throughout your home. However, if your ducts are not properly sealed or insulated, your system will work harder to maintain your desired temperature, leading to increased energy consumption and decreased efficiency.
Schedule annual maintenance.
Even if you routinely clean and replace filters, it is vital to schedule annual maintenance with a professional HVAC technician. This maintenance visit will typically include checking the refrigerant levels, inspecting the electrical components, cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, and ensuring the system runs smoothly. Having a professional technician perform annual maintenance will help you identify potential problems early, preventing expensive central AC repair costs and prolonging your system’s lifespan.
By following these five simple steps, you can help prolong the life of your central AC system and prevent expensive repair bills. Pay attention to your central AC system—take proactive steps to care for it, and enjoy the comfort of a cool home for years.