Depending on many factors, AC is generally designed to work for more than a decade or more. While AC repair is inevitable, there are several ways to extend the lifespan of your HVAC system through proper maintenance and regular tune-up. If you’re thinking about AC repair in Phoenix, here is how to extend your system’s lifespan through quality maintenance.
What is the Life Expectancy of an HVAC system?
Most modern HVAC systems can work for 15 to 20 years, while older ones last between 10 to 12 years. The lifespan, however, takes into account many key elements, from the type of HVAC system to the maintenance aspects of the unit. To ensure your AC still works despite the changing years, you have to monitor and maintain the HVAC system properly.
The HVAC system is fascinating to explore, so before diving into the major maintenance tips, it’s important to understand the basics. HVAC refers to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, which signifies a number of systems that are used to control humidity, temperatures, and air purity. These cover the processes of transferring indoor and outdoor air as well as heating and cooling various areas.
In simpler terms, HVAC is responsible for keeping you warm during chilly days and keep you cool during hot months. It also secures optimum indoor air quality and monitors humidity levels for maximum thermal comfort.
What are the Key Tips to Extend the Life of Your HVAC System?
There are a lot of ways to lengthen the working power of an HVAC system. Here are some of the most valuable tips that you can apply over time:
- Choose the right size – Did you know that purchasing the right equipment size affects the longevity of the HVAC system? This is probably the easiest yet most crucial step that you should remember. Pick a unit that is not too small or too big for your home to ensure effective and efficient working power.
A unit that is too big for your home can lead to many AC problems in the future like short cycling or uneven cooling. Short cycling is an AC issue characterized by irregular activities of the unit. It runs for a short time and then stops again, not completing the full cooling cycle. On the other hand, hot spots happen when there is undistributed cool air, leaving some areas hot and humid.
Meanwhile, units that are too small for your home can impact the working power of your HVAC system in the long run. Because of the limited size, the AC works harder and operates longer to provide cool air.
2. Clean the air filter as often as you can – Air filters are a vital part of the HVAC system. It provides cleaner indoor air by restricting unwanted particles like dust, pet dander, fungal spores, and dirty fibers. Thus, if your air filters are loaded with dirt, it affects the air quality that circulates through the system and inside your home.
It is recommended to clean filters every two weeks and replace old ones every 2 to 3 months. This way, the HVAC system can work properly to provide the needed cool air in your home.
- Schedule regular tune-ups – There is a misconception among HVAC owners as many believe that maintenance is not that important as long as they use their AC every year for a limited time. Do remember that maintenance is always a pivotal aspect of every HVAC system. It serves as a crucial way to ensure the working condition of your unit, whether it be about diagnosing possible problems or cleaning the entirety of the equipment.
Scheduled maintenance is a must to check the inner workings of the system, which are not visible by just cleaning the exterior. You need help from HVAC professionals who can expertly work on tune-ups and repairs.
- Utilize the HVAC setting properly – Most HVAC units come with a fan option that can be set accordingly. Two major settings are “auto” and “on”. If you opt for the “auto” option, this means that the fan only works when the system fully starts cooling the home. Meanwhile, choosing the “on” setup allows the fan to operate constantly.
Therefore, you have to monitor these settings properly. Take note that the “on” mode may help distribute cold air evenly, but it requires more energy, hence a possible increase in wear and tear. On the other hand, the “auto” mode may be a little inconvenient as it may cause hot spots.
- Keep an eye on the condenser – Because the location of the condenser is generally outdoors, it’s important to monitor it as much as possible. Be sure to secure the area near the outside unit, preferably with a fence, so it will not be easily accessible by pets.
Also, don’t plant near the outdoor unit to avoid possible damage. And since the outside section is more susceptible to damage due to severe weather, try to check the unit periodically. Clear away debris to optimize the efficiency of the condenser and other key parts.
- Add insulation in the attic or the basement – The best area to place insulation is in the attic because this is most likely the place where air or heat gets lost. So, adding insulation helps limit the amount of air and heat generated by the HVAC system. Aside from the attic, you may also add extra insulation into the basement and other key locations like the walls.
- Install a smart thermostat – Make everything more convenient with a smart thermostat. This allows you to set a specific temperature for a particular time. Aside from that, you are given the freedom to alter the settings at the comfort of your phones or tablets. However, because of its easy control system, you get to save money on electricity bills and even extend the life of your AC.
When Should You Replace the HVAC System?
With the given lifespan of most air conditioners, you should be ready to replace very old units that no longer give the utmost working power. For instance, if your AC repairs and expenses are already piling up but your AC still doesn’t work like before, it’s definitely time for a replacement. You have to accept the fact that AC units deteriorate over time despite the regular maintenance services and proper usage.