What Kind of Maintenance Will Extend the Life of Your AC?

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When you depend on your air conditioner to keep your house cool, it makes sense to spend some time on maintenance so you can reduce the odds that it will need major repairs. Of course, if you don’t know much about air conditioners, it can be intimidating to make any improvements to the unit. Luckily, there are some DIY maintenance tasks you can do at home to extend the life of your AC. Here are the top maintenance projects you can do yourself if you want to keep your AC running for as long as possible.

Change Your Filters Regularly

One of the most important AC maintenance tasks is one of the easiest. Basically, don’t forget to change the AC filters on a regular basis, as clogged filters make the unit work harder than it should have to, which can shorten its life. As a bonus, clean filters also save you money on electricity, since your AC is more efficient when it doesn’t have to work harder due to dirty filters.

So how often should you change your AC filters? The answer depends on a few factors. For example, if you live in a dusty area, have pets, or someone in your household has asthma or allergies, you should change the filter about every four to six weeks. If none of these apply, you can change the filters every three months or so. And if you rarely use the AC or if the house in question is a vacation home that’s not always occupied, you can change the filters about every six months to a year. If you’re not sure, you can always remove each filter and give it a visual inspection. If you can’t see any light through the filter as you hold it up, it’s time to replace it with a new one.

Keep Your AC Clean

The outdoor unit will get dirty over time, just by virtue of being outside. But you can help it out by cleaning it once in a while. To start, turn off the unit. There should be a switch you can flip by the outdoor unit, and you should also turn the power of the AC off at the breaker box.

Next, inspect the outdoor unit for leaves, dirt, and any other debris that might be blocking any of the parts from working properly. You can remove the fan cage with a wrench or screwdriver, and then use a wet/dry vacuum to get rid of any debris or dirt that’s sitting on top. This maintenance task will keep the condenser and compressor clean. You can also use a garden hose to spray water on the fins of the outdoor unit to remove any stubborn dirt or dust. To keep this area clean, make sure there are no tree branches hanging directly over the unit dropping leaves into it.

Use Your AC Only When You Need It

Just as with any other major appliance, you can extend the life of your AC by using it less. This might mean turning on ceiling fans or box fans on days when it’s only a little warm out. You should also make sure every window has blinds, curtains or another type of window treatment that can block out the sun on hot days.

Additionally, check your weather stripping around windows and doors to make sure the seal is tight enough to keep cool air from leaking out. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve been paying to cool down the entire neighborhood! When you fix this problem, your AC will have to run less often to cool down your house, which means your electric bill will be a little less expensive.

These are the most effective ways to extend the life of your AC on your own. But if you’re not comfortable making these improvements without help, you can rely on an experienced AC company to do the job for you. Contact 4 Seasons today if you have any concerns about your AC unit.