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How to Get More Out of Your Older A/C

Competent AC Repairman

As the air conditioner in your Virginia home approaches the compressor’s average lifetime of 10 to 15 years, you may start to notice a drop in cooling efficiency and an increase in your monthly utility bills. If replacing your AC is not a feasible or cost-effective option right now, try the following tips to get more out of an older AC:

  • Service It Regularly: The easiest way to get more out of an older A/C is to have your HVAC contractor perform the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures correctly and at the proper intervals. During the visit, the contractor should clean or replace the air filter, clean the evaporator and condenser coils, check the refrigerant charge, inspect the electrical system, assess and adjust airflow, and lubricate all moving parts. These procedures keep your system running as efficiently as possible and give your contractor a chance to spot future problems.
  • Check the Air Filter Monthly: During cooling season, check the air filter at least once a month, and replace or clean it when needed. Reduced air flow not only may cause a buildup of allergens and dust in the air, but it can make the A/C run inefficiently and for longer periods of time, increasing your utility bills.
  • Use Fans for Supplemental Cooling: By using ceiling fans and portable fans to increase the airflow in your home, you can make it feel cooler without lowering the thermostat. For each degree higher you set the thermostat, you can save up to 5 percent off your cooling bill. Don’t run fans in empty rooms, however, since their cooling effect only works if someone’s in the room to feel it.
  • Avoid Generating Extra Heat: Delay washing clothes and dishes until the evening, when it’s cooler and avoid using the stove during the daytime. Turn off any lights, electronics and appliances that you are not using, as they all can generate small amounts of heat that add up quickly.
  • Reduce A/C Usage: Raise the temperature when you are sleeping or at work and, in zoned systems, increase the temperature for unoccupied rooms.

For other suggestions to get the most out of an older A/C, contact our staff at HVAC Unlimited Heating and Air Conditioning, serving Fairfax and the surrounding areas.

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