Your HVAC unit runs year-round, all day. The average lifespan of an air conditioner is about 15 years if it’s properly maintained. Replacement of the unit is costly, and it is something you’ll want to push off as long as possible. There are some great tips to follow to get the most out of your air conditioning system.

Change the Filter Often

This simple component is one of the most crucial pieces for an efficient and adequately operating air conditioner. The filers remove any unwanted debris such as pollen and dust from your air supply. Dirty filters slow your unit down and can damage components such as the blower motor. Set reminders on your phone so you do not forget to replace the filter. It’s cheaper to buy the filters in bulk instead of buying one at a time.

Use “Auto” Fan Setting

The auto setting will only run the fan when the air conditioning unit is actively cooling. Using the “on” setting keeps your fan running continuously. Your system will have to work a lot harder, and the lifespan will be shortened drastically. The filters will also get dirty a lot faster. When you forget to change the filter and run the “on” setting, it taxes your air conditioner.

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Air conditioners are just like cars in that they require routine tune-ups. Regular maintenance ensures your unit is running efficiently but also helps identify minor issues before they get out of control. Your air conditioner should have a tune-up at least once a year and every six months in warmer climates. The cost of the service will far outweigh the price to replace an entire unit. Properly maintained systems from an air conditioning company can even last longer than the typical lifespan if you’re lucky.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

Smart thermostats can be controlled from the convenience of your phone or tablet. They are simple to program, and you can have the unit run at higher temperatures when you’re not home. When you give the unit “downtime” throughout the day, it is less strenuous and will also lower your utility bill. As a bonus, homes with smart thermostats usually sell for a lot higher price.

Use Blinds

Blinds can make the temperature in your home up to 10 degrees cooler. Your air conditioning unit will not have to work as hard when it cools a house with lower temperatures. Look for higher quality blinds that are insulated to get the best effect.

Use your Dryer at Night

The dryer pushes warm air into the home using the air conditioner to cycle on more frequently. Constant cycling causes the unit to wear a lot faster. Doing laundry at night is not necessarily a bad thing. Have a cold beer while you fold laundry at night! Your kids will be asleep too!

Turn off Electronics

Televisions, computers, and appliances generate a lot of heat. When you get in the habit of turning off your electronics, your home will be a lot cooler. A cooler home means your air conditioner does not have to work as hard. You can spend more quality time with your family by setting a rule that phones and televisions are turned off after 7 pm.

Keep Outdoor Unit Clean

The unit should not have any landscape or weeds nearby. Keep about a foot between any plants and your air conditioner. The unit should be on a flat surface, and ensure the groud is sturdy, so the unit is not rocking back and forth. You’ll want to address a sinking concrete pad if water puddles around the unit.

Consider a Hard Start Kit

It takes a tremendous amount of electricity to start your air conditioner. Hard start kits help your unit start much faster and provide an electrical boost. These kits are recommended for older units that are less efficient. The compressor will be under much less strain by using a hard start kit.

Keep air conditioning maintenance at the top of your home improvement to-do list. Keep a log of your repairs and tune-ups to keep your unit operating at peak performance. The more you take care of your AC, the longer lifespan it will have!