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Tips to extend the life of your air conditioner


The installations of air conditioning systems in the USA show notable growth in the last 5 years. It is estimated that 1 in 3 homes in the country has an air conditioning system, and the trend is gradually rising. In the past three years, this trend has seen an increase of about 12% per year.

There are many types of air conditioning equipment, but it is advisable to follow certain tips to extend the life of all types of air conditioning units. Here are ten tips to help you ensure your air conditioners remain in perfect health.

1. Clean the unit regularly

Many users tend to avoid cleaning the air conditioning units, and this is a big mistake. For instance, the external unit tends to get very dirty due to the fact that it is placed outside the home. The cleaning of both the internal and external units ensures that your air conditioning unit keeps on working at optimal capacity. With proper cleaning, not only will they work perfectly, but also help you in avoiding the risk of breakdowns.

In the case of cleaning the internal unit, it can be done with soap, warm water and a cloth. In addition, you can disassemble the filters and clean them and let them dry later.

The cleaning procedure of the external unit is similar to that of the internal unit. However, at this point, we must make sure that no dirt has accumulated around it or that it has a nearby object that prevents its proper functioning.

2. Perform regular checks

In the useful life of air conditioners, regular checks play a very important role. Regular checks keep your system in excellent condition and help you prevent problems. The best season for checkups is usually in spring, just before the summer months, which is when AC’s are used the most.

Air conditioner maintenance specialists, apart from doing "possible" maintenance on the air conditioning systems, verify that the parts or the air conditioning system itself does not present irregularities. The internal parts of the air conditioning system are checked, and it is made sure that they have a clean airflow that does not affect the health of the users.

3. Clean the ducts

In some circumstances, the air conditioning ducts may be the reason why the air conditioning does not work properly. If the ducts are dirty, they can obstruct or reduce the passage of air. Dirt and debris accumulated inside the air ducts, making it difficult for cold air to pass through. When you frequently clean the air ducts, less air is prevented from passing through, and the quality of the air inside your home is also improved. Cleaning the air conditioning ducts should be done at least once a year before the air conditioner begins to be used regularly.

4. Keep the outdoor unit under supervision

The outdoor unit is the "heart" of our air conditioning system. Its correct functioning extends the useful life of air conditioners considerably. It is for this reason that we must monitor it frequently and make sure that it does not present any breakdowns or anomalies. If you notice any anomaly in its functioning, you must immediately contact a technical service and let them review it.

5. Turn it off when not in use

When air conditioners are constantly used, they tend to wear out faster. It is important to turn them off if you plan to leave the house for a long time. You can set the thermostat to a minimum temperature that allows the unit to stay on but without cooling the air. You can also turn up the thermostat at night. Both techniques will help prolong the life of your system because it will get the rest it needs.

6. Annual review by an HVAC service

Maintenance is recommended at least once a year. But if you can, it is more optimal to have it done every season, i.e. twice a year. In this way, we ensure proper operation every time the equipment's operating season begins. Of course, it will also depend on the use we give to our air conditioning. It is not the same if we use it for a few hours a day than if we do it a whole day. In that case, it is advisable to carry out quarterly maintenance.

Finally, it is important to take into account the Regulation of Thermal Installations in Buildings (RITE), which states that air conditioning or heat pump appliances with power below 12 kW, should be subject to preventive maintenance every 4 years if they are for domestic use or every 2 years for any other use (shops, offices, etc.), or with the periodicity indicated by the manufacturer in the equipment use and maintenance manual.

7. Care and cleaning of the battery

The outdoor unit of the air conditioning equipment does not usually have a filter (except centrifugal units), so all the dirt in the street is deposited in the exchange battery. It is convenient to perform the battery cleaning operation frequently by blowing with pressurized air or with a brush (less effective). If this cleaning is not done, it can affect the efficiency, thermal power and finally blockage of the equipment.

8. Regulate the temperature

Choosing the type of device and its power well will prevent the air conditioner from making an unnecessary effort. Therefore, we must calculate the size of the space to be heated and thus find the right device for it. Choosing a device with low power will cause the one that has to work harder to cool the entire space and will break down sooner. If you already have the right power, you should pay close attention when adjusting the temperature. Avoid abusing the air conditioner by setting a temperature that does not differ from the outside by more than 10 degrees. Ideally, it should be set between 21 and 25 degrees. In this way, you will be able to prolong the life of your cooling system.

9. Check the refrigerant gas charge

It is very common for air conditioning equipment to lose refrigerant gas. There are many people who at the time of presenting this problem, usually only get it replenished, but this is not really a definitive solution. We must detect the place of the leak and repair it immediately to extend the life of the air conditioner. Checking the gas load is more difficult to do without pressure gauges and other specialized tools, although the typical symptom is the low-pressure block in case the equipment has pressure switches. Another symptom would be the formation of ice in the outdoor unit in heat pump operation.

10. Perform cleaning of the filters

To make the device last longer, it is necessary to periodically clean areas such as filters. If we allow dirt to accumulate in them, bacteria and dust get embedded in the AC and penetrate other parts causing breakdowns or making the AC less efficient. That is to say, if the dirt accumulates, the device will strain and can get damaged more frequently.

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