You’ve come to terms that even in Alberta you simply can’t live without your air conditioner. The question now, surrounds how to increase the life of an installation so that it serves your home and household for many years to come. As greater Calgary’s premier AC maintenance provider we are here to provide insight into how you can take steps to extend the life of your home’s air conditioning system. By applying everything below, you can enjoy the comforts and other benefits without cause for concern. Let’s get to it!
8 Practical Tips to Extending the Life of Your Home’s Air Conditioning Installation
1. Remove Obstacles to Interior Air Flow
This is one of the easiest yet most effective DIY tips to maintaining the health of your AC unit. Simply put, when you place obstacles in front of the interior air flow (vents, etc.) you make your unit work overtime to deliver the temperature and air quality you demand. This ongoing stress will negatively impact the longevity of your system. Keep plants, curtains, furniture, and other decorative accents away (3 feet+) from all areas that expel air. Even keeping nearby closet and cabinet doors closed when not in use can make a difference, no matter how negligible.
2. Remove Obstacles to Exterior Air Flow
The same (as above) goes for exterior installations, which are often forgotten. Overgrown bushes, shrubs, tree branches, patio furniture, portable sheds, and outdoor toys can block air flow and stress your exterior unit. Aim for 3 to 5 foot clearance around your unit. It may require some landscaping and rearranging, but in the end it will help extend the life of your air conditioner.
3. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Replace Filters
If you wait until the oil light comes on in your car before you change the oil, then this tip likely applies to you and your air conditioning unit. While a general rule of thumb states to change your filter/s every 3 months, there are many variables that dictate how often you should change the filter/s. These include (but are not exclusive to) the type of filter your AC system requires, the air quality in your area (i.e. for homes near industrial centers, etc.), whether or not you have pets, whether or not someone often smokes in the home, and the number of household occupants. Homes influenced by the latter four may need to change their filter/s monthly or sooner. Whatever the case may be, get into the habit of inspecting your filter/s every two weeks, and change them if they appear dirty. Your AC system will be happier for it.
4. Try to Keep Temperatures Consistent
This is a tough one for households packed with family members who all respond to interior temperature in different ways. One person always seems cold, another is always too warm, and yet another can’t seem to make up their mind. They run around the home changing air and temperature settings, increasing the variance of air flow and temperature from room to room, day to day, and sometimes hour by hour. Sound familiar? This inconsistent activity stresses your AC system. Hold a family meeting and try to find a happy medium so that your poor unit doesn’t suffer the consequences and leave your family before its time.
5. No Impact Sports
This practical tip applies for both indoor and outdoor installations and is pointed to kids although dads sometimes need a stern warning too. While a good AC unit will be sturdy, it doesn’t appreciate being bombarded by rogue soccer balls, basketballs, hockey pucks,water balloons, and other indoor/outdoor game appendages. Make sure all roughhousing is done away from where units are installed. In addition, don’t treat lower installations as cup holders or a place to rest anything that can spill on or weigh down the unit.
6. Avoid Piecemeal Installations
Over time you may have to replace parts along the run of your home’s air conditioning system. When doing so, make sure you match all components to a single manufacturer (assuming a superior AC manufacturer in the first place) and system type, and ensure that they are all in prime working order. Components are meant to work cohesively and thus failure to provide for this will impact the performance on your air conditioning unit and chip away at its future years of service, to you. The following quote from TRANE (our preferred installations) provides a succinct example of this:
“The performance and efficiency of an outdoor air conditioning unit is based on being matched with a similarly engineered indoor unit of like size and capacity. If only the outdoor unit is replaced and must utilize an existing indoor coil and air handler or furnace, it could actually suffer more than a 20% decline in SEER and compromise reliability and comfort.” (TRANE)
7. Schedule Regular Professional Inspection and Maintenance
While you can DIY a filter inspection, you need to reply on an AC installation and repair professional to perform a semi-annual inspection to make sure your entire system is in proper working order. That said, the same variables that dictate frequent filter changes (item #3 above) may require more frequent inspections (quarterly), but that is for more extreme cases. Long story short, you will want to begin your semi-annual maintenance starting today, if you want your AC investment to last for many more tomorrows.
8. Invest in a Better System
Investing in a top of the line air conditioner is the best way to ensure your system lasts a long time. Heck, the right installation can grow with your kids and see them off to college. Yes, there may be a significant cost to begin with, but you will soon see an ROI as utility expenditures crumble for months of the year. But how are you to know if a new installation is the right choice? Could a repair be all you need to extend the life of your household air conditioning? There’s only one way to find out – contact us today and be sure to ask about our early bird season A/C w/furnace combinations that can save you up to $1500.