A technician checking an air conditioner with the words, "air conditioner failure prevention."

How to Prevent Air Conditioner Failure

No matter the season, air conditioner failure is the absolutely last thing any Texan needs. It’s expensive, it’s inconvenient, and it’s an all-around headache—literally and metaphorically. Here are the 5 best tips to follow now to ensure you’ll have a functioning air conditioner when you need it most in the future.

Tip 1: Invest In Routine Maintenance

The best way to prevent air conditioner failure is to invest in routine air conditioning maintenance. Regular maintenance can help keep your unit running efficiently. This saves it from having to work too hard due to an issue, such as clogged air ducts, and subsequently wearing itself out.

Being overworked and having parts fail due to unresolved issues can halve or even quarter the lifespan of your air conditioner. Specifically, air conditioners that do not receive maintenance at least once a year typically die within 5 -10 years, while a well-maintained air conditioner can last for up to 20 years. 

In addition to saving on replacement costs, a well-maintained air conditioner saves you money on your utility bills as they are shown to be 45 percent more energy efficient than neglected air conditioners. Routine maintenance can also help catch small problems early, preventing more costly repairs down the road or even an unexpected AC breakdown.

Every maintenance service comes with a thorough inspection of your unit. In addition, we also lubricate moving parts, tighten electrical connections, check the refrigerant, and recharge it if necessary. Routine maintenance can help you resolve an issue before it makes an even bigger dent in your wallet and your lifestyle.

Tip 2: Replace Your Air Filter Regularly

A technician replaces and air filter grille

Most air filters last anywhere from three months to six months. Investing in the pleated ones will put you at the longer end of that range. However, these are just general guidelines. Air filters should be changed more often if you have pets or respiratory issues, such as asthma. Individuals who live in areas where air pollution is higher should also change their air filters more regularly.

Regular air filter replacement is important to avoid straining your air conditioner. Clogged or blocked air filters can put the air conditioner motor under major strain, leading to it becoming damaged or failing completely. In fact, the lifespan of the entire system can be affected.

Dirty air filters also lower the quality of your indoor air which can have negative consequences on your house. You and your family may experience aggravated allergies, a dirtier house as more dust collects on furniture, and even a higher risk of asthma attacks for individuals with respiratory illnesses. 

Dirty air filters can cause your air conditioning unit to become dirty as well, blocking important moving parts (such as the fan) from doing their job properly. This requires the unit to work harder, leading to higher energy bills, increased repairs, and potentially even premature replacement costs.

Tip 3: Clean the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit

It is a good practice to check your outdoor unit for any debris that may have collected around it, such as sticks, twigs, leaves, and other plant matter. To minimize this issue, you can cut back foliage from plants that may be growing too close to your outdoor unit. A good rule of thumb is that plants should be at least three feet away from your outdoor air conditioning unit to prevent a blockage. 

In addition to routinely clearing all debris away from your unit, you should also clean the unit regularly with a hose. However, make sure you turn the power supply off first. Lastly, you should also check to see if the unit is level and that the ground hasn’t shifted. Changes in level or shifting ground could indicate increased water in the area, or some other issue that could affect your air conditioning unit. If you notice these issues, contact a technician immediately.

Tip 4: Check the Condensate Line for Blockages

Close up of a thermostat in a nice house next to a staircase

The condensate line is what your air conditioner uses to drain the moisture it has removed from your indoor unit. It typically emerges from your home and dumps the water out near the outdoor unit. When your air conditioner is turned on, the condensate should drip steadily, indicating that there are no blockages and the water is escaping freely. Additionally, it is important to check the condensate pan periodically and keep a look out for pooling water that could be an indication that you have a blockage in your line.

If you’re unsure where your condensate line is or if the condensate is dripping as it should, your trusted Cote’s Mechanical Air Conditioning Technicians can check your condensate line and remove any blockages during your maintenance check.

Tip 5: Remember That Trusted Routine Maintenance Is Only a Phone Call Away!

Don’t wait until it’s too late and the temperature’s already rising. By remembering that trusted routine maintenance is only a phone call away, you can make sure you’ll always have a trusty air conditioner to keep the sweltering Texas heat at bay. Contact us to schedule an appointment or consultation today!

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