Air conditioners are an indispensable component in Florida homes and businesses. This is why purchasing one isn’t even considered an investment. It’s like a lifeline. But before making a decision on a new AC unit, it’s always good to know the details of what you’re buying.
What’s the life expectancy of an air conditioner?
According to the United States Department of Energy, the average lifespan of an air conditioner is between 15 and 20 years. However, just as is the case with a motor vehicle or any other big ticket purchase, the manner in which you care for it will have an effect on whether it lasts a good 15-20 years or whether it’ll clunk out sooner than expected.
Tips to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan.
In order to ensure that your investment is one for the long haul, follow the preventive maintenance tips below:
1. Change the air filters regularly. When shopping for filters, pay close attention to their materials. The better quality filters need to be changed less often. HEPA filters, in particular, remove most of the airborne particles in your home, such as dust, mold spores, tobacco smoke, soot from scented candles, and pet dander.
Also pay attention to the filters’ MERV ratings. This acronym stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it ranges from 1 to 20. The higher the number, the better quality the filter (HEPA filters are usually between 17 and 20).
Finally, keep in mind that the more people living in your home, the more often you need to change the filters. Same goes if you have pets, allergy sufferers, or smokers in your household.
2. Get a dehumidifier. This is especially important for Sunshine State residents. Dehumidifiers improve the air quality inside your home as well as protect your furniture and your home’s structure. It also helps your air conditioner work more efficiently. This is because AC units work by absorbing the humidity inside your home. The more humid it is, the harder the air conditioner has to work to complete a full cycle. If you have a dehumidifier regulating the humidity levels inside your home, there’s less strain on your AC.
During summer months, humidity levels in the home should be at around 40%. During the colder weather, it should be at around 60%. You can measure this by installing a humidistat. They are relatively affordable, will notify you if the humidity levels inside your home are too high, and will cause the AC to shut off once your home reaches the desired humidity level. As a bonus, you’ll save money in your monthly power bill.
3. Maintain the condensate line. Remember how we mentioned that air conditioners absorb the humidity inside your home? The same way it pulls it in, it needs a way to get that moisture out. And it does so by taking the water that drips from the air and flushes it outside your home through the condensate line.
With the passage of time, these lines can easily become clogged with mold, mildew, algae, and sludge. To clean it regularly, you can flush it with ¾ cup of white vinegar. If there’s already a clog, you can suction it out with a wet/dry vac.
4. Clean the condenser unit regularly. The condenser unit is that big square box that sits outside your home. The best way to take care of it is to straighten the fins with a condenser fin comb, wash it, and trim trees and shrubbery around it to prevent leaves, branches, and debris from obstructing the airflow.
5. Get regular maintenance checks by an HVAC professional. While you can handle the tips above yourself, there is no substitute for a certified technician taking care of your air conditioning unit routine maintenance. We can foresee potential issues and nip them in the bud before they become a major problem.
Contact Complete Air Mechanical for a New Air Conditioner
At Complete Air Mechanical, we have experienced HVAC professionals who can inspect your AC and install a unit that’s right for your home or business. We provide service in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.
Call us at (407) 915-0144 and let us make your home comfortable again.