How to Keep Your Aging AC Running Efficiently

If your air conditioner might be nearing the end of its usable life, you may be scrambling to find ways to keep it running for as long as you can. After all, replacing an air conditioner can be expensive, and it might not be something you’ve budgeted for.

We’ve put together some tips to help you get the most out of your aging air conditioner, and to help it continue running at its prime for as long as possible.

Check your vents

When their home is feeling warmer than usual, many homeowners panic and think the issue is with their air conditioner. The issue — and the solution — may actually be much simpler: Check to be sure that the vents in each room of your home aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, or curtains. You may be surprised how much this can affect your home’s comfort levels.

Additionally, vacuum the vent registers often to prevent a build-up of dirt, dust, and pet hair, which could impede airflow and prevent air conditioned by your cooling system from reaching your livable spaces. Blocked vents could also cause your air conditioner to work overtime and lead to premature system wear and higher energy bills.

Cover your windows

During the hottest part of the day, when the sun is shining in, shut your blinds and draw the curtains to prevent unwanted heat from getting inside your home. The extra heat doesn’t just make your family feel uncomfortable, but it can also lead to your air conditioner working harder than it needs to in order to keep things cool. This extra strain on your AC could lead to a breakdown.

On mild and breezy nights, shut your air conditioner off and open your windows to let in cool, fresh air. This will give your AC a break, so it isn’t working constantly.

Keep the area around your condenser clear

The condenser — your AC’s outside unit — should have a minimum of two feet of clearance on all sides. When you have tree limbs, bushes, etc. growing too close, they can prevent proper airflow to the system’s vital components. This will cause your unit to work harder than necessary to try and pull in air to cool to push through your family’s home. This strain, too, could lead to an expensive and untimely breakdown.

Adjust your thermostat

During the day, when your family won’t be home, set your thermostat to be a few degrees warmer. This will help to decrease the number of times your air conditioner cycles on and off throughout the day, potentially lowering energy bills and creating less work for your system.

If you have a programmable thermostat installed, this may be an adjustment that automatically takes place each day so you don’t have to remember to adjust the thermostat before walking out the door. Additionally, a programmable thermostat allows you to set your AC to automatically lower the temp a few degrees before your family gets back home.

Reseal window and door frames

The seals around your window and door frames can deteriorate due to natural wear and tear. However, failure to reseal these areas could let in hot air from outside and allow conditioned air from your cooling system to escape. This will cause your AC to work harder than it needs to in order to keep your home at the temperature you’ve set and can also lead to higher energy bills each month.

Schedule routine AC maintenance

One of the most effective things you can do to help keep your air conditioner running efficiently is to schedule yearly maintenance with a professional. At Oncourse Home Solutions, we offer an affordable Cooling Maintenance Plan for homeowners like you. To see if the plan is available where you live, visit us online and enter your ZIP code to get started.