The life span of an air conditioner depends on many factors, including how often it’s used and how well it’s cared for. The average life span of an air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. But they can last longer if they receive comprehensive preventive annual service -- or they can break down prematurely if they're neglected.
Preventive annual service is the best thing you can do to not only lengthen the life of your A/C but also reduce its drain on your utility bills by up to 30%. Not only does preventive annual service keep it tuned up and efficient, but it can solve minor problems before they turn into expensive repairs.
Assuming your A/C has been sized and installed correctly, these tasks, among others, can help ensure ongoing efficient performance:
- Replacing air filters. A dirty or clogged air filter can reduce airflow through the system. This leads to poor circulation and reduced comfort and can affect your indoor air quality.
- Cleaning A/C coils- both inside and outside. Dirty coils reduce performance and waste energy. They also can cause the unit to overwork, running past its appropriate cycle. Overworked equipment is vulnerable to premature failure.
- Measuring for appropriate electrical currents and voltage in the motor.
- During preventive annual service, refrigerant (often called "freon") can be adjusted, if necessary.
Low refrigerant could indicate a leak--you should never have to "top off" the refrigerant annually. On the other hand, too much refrigerant could cause malfunctions. Once the correct level of refrigerant is established, it shouldn't need adjustment.
How much your A/C is used is as important as preventive annual service. Do you use a programmable thermostat, and do you keep the settings as warm as you’re comfortable with in the summer? Do you make frequent changes to the temperature settings, hoping for a “cool burst” of air when coming in from a hot, humid day? Unfortunately, this won’t cool your house more quickly, and it can waste energy and strain your A/C. Try to keep the A/C off or at a higher temperature setting when you don’t need it most, such as at night, when temperatures may be cooler.
To help ensure efficient A/C performance and a long life span, please contact the Greater Cleveland area's experts at PK Wadsworth. We would be happy to answer any questions or to schedule a preventive service appointment for your A/C.
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Photo credit: Hkarau