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How Can I Make My Air Conditioner Last Longer?

How Can I Make My Air Conditioner Last Longer?

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If you live in a hot climate, your air conditioner can be your best friend… and your worst enemy. The unrelenting heat of a long summer can be unbearable without an air conditioner to keep your home at a reasonable temperature. One of the worst things to face at home on a 100+ degree day is having your AC die and having to sweat it out.
I live in Las Vegas, and last summer our air conditioner was out for six days during the hottest week of the year. By the end of it, I thought my son was going to pass-out and my Saint Bernard was going to die of heatstroke. I didn’t maintain my AC as often as I should have, but you can bet I do now. Keep reading to learn from my mistakes.
To avoid this sweltering scenario, some routine upkeep along with not overtaxing the system can keep your air conditioner going all summer long.

Simple Steps for a Longer Life

Like any major appliance, having to replace your air conditioning unit can be a hit on your wallet. The longer your AC lives, the longer you can put off having to find the money to cover the expense of replacing it. Here are a few simple steps that can add years of life to your air conditioner:

  • Don’t run it at night or when away
  • Set temperature higher
  • Supplement with fans
  • Use window coverings
  • Keep windows closed
  • Change your air filter
  • Keep unit clean
  • Routine maintenance

Don’t Run It at Night or When Away

Running your air conditioner nonstop is a good way to send it to an early grave. If you give it a rest when the temperatures drop at night or when you aren’t home, you can add years on to your unit. Coming back to a hot home might not be ideal, but your AC will make things comfortable for you quickly enough after you return.

Set Temperature Higher

Setting the temperature on your thermostat to 72 rather than 68 will help to give your AC a break, especially on extra hot days, while still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. You may prefer it slightly cooler, but 70 is a lot better than 90, or however high it may go if your unit breaks completely.

Supplement With Fans

Giving your air conditioner some help in the cooling duties can really reduce its workload. If you have a couple of fans moving air around, then you won’t notice if you don’t set your thermostat so low.

Use Window Coverings

The use of window coverings on windows that receive direct sunlight can help to reduce how hot it gets in your home in the first place. If the sun doesn’t heat your home as much, then there is less need to have your AC cool it down.

Keep Windows Closed

If you leave your windows closed while running your air conditioner, all of the cold air coming into your home from the unit is just going to go right out the window, which will keep your AC working to achieve the impossible task of cooling down the outside world.

Change Air Filter

Routinely changing your air filter will help your air conditioner to run at peak efficiency. If your AC can get the job done with less effort, it will run much longer.

Keep Unit Clean

Keeping your air conditioner clear of pollen and other buildups will, in turn, make it so that your air filter needs changing less often as well as allowing the rest of the unit to stay free of residue that could cause operational problems.

Routine Maintenance

Just like you take your car in for a tune-up every 3,000 miles to keep it in working order, you should do the same for your air conditioner. Have it checked at least once a year before the hot season begins to make sure it is full go. Look for these signs to see if your AC is in need of service.

Save Money, Save the Planet

Following these tips to make your air conditioner last longer will save you both in the short term and long term. The longer you can keep your unit running, the longer you can put off the large expense of replacing it. At the same time, you will save on your monthly bill by keeping your AC running at peak efficiency and not running it more than necessary.
You can feel even better about your personal financial savings by knowing that you are also helping to save the planet. Air conditioning units release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, so not working them so hard all day can help to limit the amount of carbon dioxide you put out. Also, an improperly functioning air conditioner can release hydrofluorocarbons (which trap thousands of times more heat than carbon dioxide), but as long as your unit is running correctly, that shouldn’t be a problem.

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