How Long Will My AC Equipment Last?
The average life of an AC system in the Pacific Northwest is 15-20 years. However, there’s a lot you can do to maximize your unit’s lifespan.
Check out this video from a Four Seasons Heating & Air pro about the importance of planning ahead to avoid your AC unit failing during the peak of summer.
As a homeowner, you can take many easy steps to ensure that your AC equipment functions well for as long as possible. Here are six simple tips we’ll explore to help you extend your unit’s life:
- Replace your air filters regularly
- Schedule your annual maintenance
- Keep your outdoor unit clean
- Watch out for ductwork leaks
- Open your supply/return vents
- Don’t set your temperature too low
If you’re tired of being treated like a fair-weather friend by HVAC companies, it's time to connect with Four Seasons Heating & Air. We’re helping homeowners across Northwest Oregon maximize the lifespan of their AC units.
Replace your air filters regularly
The best way to maintain your AC unit is to replace your air filters regularly. When your air filter gets clogged, airflow becomes restricted, and your AC unit has to work harder, straining your system.
Your preferred filter will vary for replacement frequency. Set calendar alerts following your filter’s recommended replacement cadence to remind you to complete this task.
For more details about how often you should replace your filter and why it is important, read our article: “How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?”
Schedule your annual maintenance
Another crucial thing that homeowners should do is schedule annual maintenance. Just like how you take your car in for regular maintenance to extend its life, you should also prioritize check-ups for your AC system.
During your annual maintenance visit, your unit will be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Energystar.gov recommends scheduling your AC tune-up in the spring so you can prevent an uncomfortable summer break-down. Regularly replacing faulty parts can promote efficiency and prevent a more severe issue on a hot summer day when you most need reliable air conditioning.
Your unit’s warranty may also require regular maintenance for it to stay valid, so review your warranty’s stipulations and follow them to keep your coverage intact.
Keep your outdoor unit clean
Your AC system has an outdoor unit that must stay clean. If dirt or debris covers it and blocks airflow, the unit ends up overworking itself, spiking your energy bills. Make sure to clear any bushes or debris surrounding the unit.
Watch out for ductwork leaks
Air flows through your AC ductwork to reach all parts of your home. However, if there are leaks in your ductwork, this can strain your AC unit and shorten its life. Plus, you’ll waste money cooling parts of your home that don’t need it.
A professional can locate the leaks in your ductwork and seal them.
Open your supply/return vents
It’s a common misconception that you should close the vents to rooms that you don’t use. We advise against this because closed vents create extra pressure on your ductwork, leading to possibly overworking your AC system.
With closed vents, your unit isn’t operating like designed, which can result in higher energy bills or damage to your AC system. We recommend that you open all your vents in your home.
Don’t set your temperature too low
Many people set their temperature lower than they desire their home’s temperature to be because they think that will cool the home faster.
For example, you may desire your home to be set at 75° but set the thermostat at 70° to get to 75° faster. In actuality, doing so can overwork your AC unit, shorten its lifespan, and waste energy. We recommend setting your home’s thermostat to the precise temperature you want your home to be.
Need help with your AC unit?
At Four Seasons Heating & Air, we offer the best brands, the best service, and the best pricing. We hold one of the industry's most prestigious HVAC certifications (NATE), so you can trust us to get your AC repair done right. Let us help you get your AC unit back in action.