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How To Extend The Life of Your HVAC System

An HVAC system is a big purchase for any household, quickly running into thousands of dollars. Naturally, you want to keep your HVAC system running well for as long as possible. But how can you get the maximum lifespan out of your HVAC system? Let JMAK Heating and Cooling guide you with tips and tricks to make your HVAC system last.

How Long Will My HVAC System Last For?

Individual air conditioners usually last for 10-15 years, while HVAC systems can go for up to 30 years. Using our tips, you can ensure that your HVAC system lasts for at least that long and works effectively for that whole time.

Location, Location, Location

If you have an outdoor air conditioner, place it in a cool spot in the shade if possible. This placement will ease the burden on your AC and reduce the stress of operation. You must ensure that the area around the AC is clear and free of debris. Grass, leaves, and other debris can block your AC’s vents, making the machine work harder and reducing its lifespan. After a storm, always check your AC to ensure it’s free of foreign objects -but only after turning it off first.

One of the best ways to keep your AC free of debris is to ensure that there are no bushes, trees, or other plant life close to your unit. Weeds or flowers that grow around its base should be pruned regularly by the homeowner.

Keep It Clean

Keeping your AC clean goes hand-in-hand with keeping it free of debris. The dirt and dust accumulated around your AC can block vents just as effectively as grass and leaves. Regular cleanings provide an excellent opportunity to visually inspect your unit for signs of wear and tear or damage. Ideally, your AC unit should be on flat and level ground, elevated on a concrete pad to prevent rainwater from flooding in.

Use Simple Protection

Seemingly minor changes can make a significant impact on the effectiveness and lifespan of your AC. If your AC isn’t in a naturally shaded spot, you might be able to move an awning to shadow it. While you must be careful not to plant or grow shrubbery and trees too close to your unit, they can be helpful to your unit. Strategically positioned plants can help shield your AC from the sun and wind.

Change Your Filters Regularly

Keeping your AC clean includes changing its filters regularly. Filters become dirty by design because they catch particles and foreign objects in the AC’s airflow, preventing them from entering your home. A filter that becomes too dirty or hasn’t been changed often enough is one of the leading causes of problems with AC units. A filthy filter will make your AC labor harder than it needs to and can lead to mechanical issues and breakdowns. This dirty filter could easily add repair costs while shortening your AC’s lifespan. The rule of thumb is to change your filter once every three months or once every two months if you have pets.

Use A Smart Thermostat

Many devices are programmable these days, but did you know that you can also make your AC smart? Some of them allow you to control your AC and its settings directly from your phone as long as you have an internet connection. The ability to turn off your air conditioning when no one is home and prepare it for your arrival later is not to be underestimated. However, the most significant advantage of a “smart” AC is that it becomes much easier to optimize.

Any smart thermostat will have controls for temperature and humidity. Instructing your thermostat to stay within a specific range of temperature and humidity eases the burden on your air conditioner. The use of the compressor is regulated, and the fans run low under these conditions. A smart AC can even notify you of problems or regular maintenance checks, like when it’s time to change your air filter. All of this dramatically increases efficiency and thus the lifespan of your AC.

Give Your AC A Rest

Running your AC constantly is a bad thing. Not only does it increase the cost of your energy bill, but it also makes your AC wear out quicker. Fortunately, there are simple ways to get around this. If you are leaving any doors or windows in your home open, turn your AC off until you close them. Turning your thermostat up at night, when the climate will be cooler, also improves your AC’s efficiency.

You still want to keep cool even when your AC is off. One way of accomplishing this is by putting heat-resistant curtains or smart blinds over your windows. When you turn your AC off, the ceiling and electric fans are your best friends. Such devices use far less power than your AC does and will help you beat the heat and save money at the same time.

Get Regular Maintenance and Tune-Ups

Performing preventive maintenance on your AC and periodically optimizing it is some of the best ways to extend your AC’s lifespan. Have your AC inspected, cleaned, and tuned by a certified HVAC technician annually. The best time for you to schedule this is in the spring, when demand for HVAC services will be relatively low. Additionally, if your technician detects a problem, there will be plenty of time to fix it before the summer months arrive. 

A tune-up will usually include several different services. This tuning includes inspecting all of your AC’s components, cleaning its interior and condensate pan, topping up refrigerant, and reviewing the outdoor unit for any damage or foreign objects. Regular maintenance and tune-ups are so essential that some power companies offer a rebate to customers who engage in the practice. A well-maintained and optimized system can save you up to 20% on your utility bills. Realistically, you can’t afford to neglect your AC!

Upgrade Your Insulation

Changing the insulation in your home is a big ask, but it makes a big difference in the longevity of your AC. If your home is poorly insulated, your AC runs much less efficiently, as conditioned air escapes and forces your AC to work harder than it needs to. Your AC will frequently turn on and off, which wastes large amounts of power and strains the machinery. It will also run up your power bill. This inefficiency is why a well-insulated home is key to a long-lasting AC.

Turn Off Other Electronics and Dry Clothes At Night

These might sound like odd recommendations, but they work. While most given electronics don’t use much power, multiple unused electronics still turned on add up quickly. All electronics give off heat, making your AC work harder to cool your home. Keeping unused electronics turned off gives your AC a much-needed break.

Consider using your clothes dryer at night. A working clothes dryer gives off large amounts of heat. When your thermostat detects this, it turns your AC on to regulate the temperature, making it work harder than necessary. Using your clothes dryer at night helps to offset this.

Call JMAK Heating and Cooling

The single most effective thing you can do to prolong your AC’s lifespan is call JMAK Heating and Cooling. JMAK has decades of experience in the HVAC industry. Its certified HVAC professionals can advise you on what your AC needs to last as long as possible and make any necessary repairs or tune-ups. So do the smart thing to save time and money. Call JMAK heating and Cooling today.

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