Air conditioners are a costly home system you always want but dread paying for when it’s time for a replacement. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to take care of your AC unit and extend its lifespan.
Here are some practical tips for maintaining your air conditioner in great working condition, so you can get the most out of your investment.
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Get a Maintenance Package
Contact a professional ac repair service to explore their maintenance package options. Getting a professional tune-up is an essential seasonal maintenance task for your air conditioner. During this visit, the technician will do a basic check-up, making a few adjustments and changing filters as needed. They might also calibrate your system and check your thermostat, depending on their service offering.
If possible, opt for a recurring maintenance package. This offering is typically set up as a subscription in which you pay a nominal monthly fee in return for regular check-ups, discounted repair fees, and priority service during the high season.
Keep Your Filters Clean
One of the best things you can do to keep your air conditioner functional between maintenance visits is to keep the filters clean. The filters are designed to prevent dust and debris from blowing into your home, diminishing your indoor air quality. However, as the filter gets clogged, it minimizes your system’s efficiency, causing it to work harder for less output.
The extra stress on your system when the filters are dirty will diminish the lifespan of your unit. Take some time once per month during the warm season to turn off your air conditioner and give the filters a good rinse.
Know the Warning Signs
Understanding the warning signs of an impending system failure will help you be proactive in scheduling repairs. By knowing what to look for, you can call a technician before the issues put extra stress on the system or turn into a bigger problem.
Some warning signs that your air conditioner is failing include:
- Short-cycling – when the air conditioner starts to kick in and then fails before the fan turns on.
- Power bill spikes – an unexpected increase in your power bill could indicate a functionality issue.
- Strange sounds – your air conditioner should be consistently ambient.
- Funny smells – burning or sweet, chemical smells indicate a leak.
- Leaking liquid – fluid drops that aren’t condensation indicate a leak.
- Temperature inconsistencies – cold spots, hot spots, or the feeling that your thermostat is wrong could indicate an issue.
If you notice these issues, turn off the unit and call a repair person immediately.
Protect the Exterior Unit
Maintaining the exterior unit is also an important part of AC maintenance. While some tasks are included in a maintenance package, you can also do a few things between visits. Inspect your outdoor unit regularly and remove any leaves, twigs, or debris as needed.
Block the Sun
The sun is your air conditioner’s biggest competition during the summer months. Closing the curtains and adding thermal film to your windows will help offset radiant heat from the sun. As such, your AC won’t have to work as hard to achieve the desired temperature, minimizing wear and tear over time.
Use these simple tips to maintain your air conditioner in great working condition and extend its lifespan.