Holding on to Your Older AC? Go Ahead, but Make It Work Better

September 10, 2014

AC Heat Pump closeupEven as fall approaches, it’s still warm and humid here in Mobile, Alabama. A high quality, functioning A/C will make this time of year more bearable. The average life expectancy of an air conditioner is between 10 and 12 years, but you can add more years onto your older A/C, by following the right maintenance procedures and changing some of your habits.

  • Relieve some pressure. Using floor or ceiling fans in occupied rooms allows you to raise the thermostat by three or four degrees, thanks to the cooling effect produced by the wind-chill factor. This occurs when the air movement produced by the fan speeds up the rate of evaporation of perspiration on the surface of the skin. For every degree you can raise your thermostat, you will save between 3 and 5 percent on cooling costs.
  • Keep it clean. Regular filter changes are vital to the function and integrity of your A/C. A dirty filter hampers air flow, causing the system to work harder and placing excessive wear and tear on parts. Dirt and debris that can no longer be trapped by the filter can make their way into your ductwork, effectively reducing the quality of your indoor air.
  • Call a professional. The best way to extend the life of your older A/C is through annual preventive maintenance, where your contractor will inspect, clean, lubricate and tune up your cooling system. This helps to increase efficiency and prevent costly mid-season repairs.
  • Smarter, not harder. Reduce excessive A/C use with the following tips:
    • Set your programmable thermostat several degrees higher for times you are away from home, and down to your desired set point an hour before you’re due to return.
    • Keep doors and windows closed during A/C operation.
    • Only use the A/C when natural ventilation is inadequate.
    • Use exhaust fans when cooking, doing laundry or showering, to keep humidity levels down.

For more tips on getting the most from your older A/C, call the experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., proudly serving residents of Mobile and the surrounding area.