After installing a brand new air conditioner, you might be looking for ways to make this unit last a little longer than the last one. After all, with the average price of a new system costing around $5,000, you might not be able to afford a replacement for a few years. Here are two ways you might be able to make your air conditioner last longer, so that you can spend your money on something a little more fun:
1: Shade Your Unit
During the summer months, the hot sun can beat down on your unit—heating up the air and making your air conditioner work harder. Wouldn't it be nice if you could take some of the load off of your system? Although it might seem impossible to help, shading your air conditioning unit can actually increase its efficiency by as much as 10%. Here are some ways you might be able to shade your system:
- Awnings: Retractable awnings and decorative pergolas aren't just for your deck. Consider using these coverings to block the sunlight hitting your air conditioning unit. In addition to keeping your system cool, it can also add a little visual interest to the area.
- Patio Furniture: When you arrange your yard, consider placing your patio furniture in a way that will block the sunlight hitting your air conditioner. For example, you might be able to raise your patio umbrella a few inches so that it shades the unit on the back of your house.
- Trees: Shaded areas underneath trees can be as much as 25°F cooler than blacktop. To keep your air conditioner cool, plant a leafy tree that will block the afternoon sun. To keep the tree's roots from interfering with your foundation, plant medium sized trees, or versions that would grow up to 70 feet tall, about 15 feet from your house.
Because shaded areas are inherently cooler, your air conditioner won't have to work as hard to cool the incoming air. In addition to keeping your home comfortable and your system safe, you won't have to listen to your air conditioner click on and off as much.
2: Get Your Ducts Cleaned Regularly
Daily living is a little dirtier than most people think. As you blow-dry your hair, track mud in from outside, and sauté those dinner vegetables, you are polluting your indoor air. In fact, the EPA has found that indoor air is usually about 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside, but can be as much as 100 times more polluted with some contaminates. Unfortunately, the dust and debris that gets kicked around by your day-to-day activities can slowly line the inside of your air conditioning ducts, limiting airflow and damaging your system.
Although it might not seem like a big problem, research has shown that a buildup of under an inch of debris on your air conditioning coils can reduce efficiency by as much as 21%. When grime is allowed to billow inside of your ductwork, it can impact airflow. Instead of being able to simply cool air and push it to the right rooms, your system might struggle to deliver cold air and pump warm air outside. For this reasons, 9 out of 10 HVAC failures are thought to be caused by a dirty system.
To keep your air conditioner working like it should, have your ductwork cleaned regularly. Professionals from sites like http://rbincorporated.com/ use suctioning devices that contain special sweeping mechanisms to brush out the interior of your ventilation lines, so that you can breathe a little easier.
By looking after your air conditioner, you can enjoy a cool, comfortable home all summer long, without worrying as much about sudden system failures.