There is no reason why air conditioning units should not last for as long as 10-15 years.
However, if you feel that your air conditioner is not performing to its potential, it could be due to a number of common reasons such as the air filter becoming dirty and choked, and the external unit is obstructed by plants, leaves, and other debris.
Common Problems with AC
Some of the common issues that may afflict your air conditioner are:
a) Low level of refrigerant
The refrigerant that keeps on circulating inside the AC system is responsible for the cooling effect.
Since it does not evaporate to the outside, in case you discover the refrigerant level to have dipped then there is a high possibility of a leak.
Only a competent technician can identify the location of the leak, fix it and recharge the unit.
b) Electrical issues
If your AC does not turn on at all, it could something as elementary as the circuit trip.
However, if the circuit breaker trips repeatedly when the AC is switched on, you need to call in professional AC engineers to identify and address the faulty wiring.
c) Safety switch
To prevent moisture from creating havoc, all units have condensate pipes that drain the excess moisture and keep the AC dry.
Sometimes clogging takes place, and the moisture build-up activates a safety switch that turns off the AC to prevent a short circuit.
Draining the pipe and emptying out the pan can usually fix the problem.
d) Dirty coils and filters
Keeping the filters and coils clean is the most basic step in ensuring that your AC operates efficiently.
Clean or change the filter as per the instructions given by the manufacturer, and hose off the external unit to get rid of the dirt and dust.
Tips for Maintaining Your AC to Extend Its Life
If you regularly maintain your air conditioner, it will not only cool better but also save you a lot of money in power consumption and by eliminating breakdown repairs.
1- Keep It Clean
The reason why air conditioners do not operate efficiently and ultimately break down is surprisingly something as common as the build-up of dirt and dust.
Because the air filter is tucked away out of sight it is very easy to forget all about it even though you may know that it is an essential component.
However, you should make it a point to have a schedule that makes it mandatory to clean it once a month during the summer and once in three months at other times of the year when the unit is being used more sparingly.
Not only will you be breathing air that is cleaner but also saving a whole lot of money in reduced power consumption as the unit cools far more efficiently.
2- Bi-Annual Maintenance
Ensure that you have your air conditioner inspected at least twice a year for any signs of problems that could lead to expensive repairs later on.
All the main components of the unit should be inspected, including the coils of the condenser and the evaporator.
Check if the level of refrigerant is okay as in case it has dipped it is quite likely that there is a leak, which must be attended to immediately.
This is because the fluids are extremely toxic and may cause respiratory problems to those in their proximity.
The bi-annual maintenance will also reveal in case there are any electrical issues such as overheating or losing contacts that may lead to sparking and short circuits.
3- Attend Repairs Immediately
In case, the inspection reveals an issue or you perceive that your air conditioning unit does not seem to be working as well as expected, it becomes important that your unit is repaired urgently before the issue escalated to something far more serious and expensive.
Identifying faults can be quite difficult for a layman so it is best that you call in the experts.
It is vital to resist the tendency to wait till suspected problem balloons out of control and becomes an emergency.
Careful and appropriate air conditioner maintenance will not only allow the unit to perform efficiently but also enable you to avoid premature and emergency failure that can take a lot of money to repair or replace the unit.
With preventive maintenance, you can easily extend the life of the unit considerably as well as keep running costs down.
Meen Smith is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for the elderly. She has already worked as an associate editor on various moms, babies, home appliances, kitchen, and healthy living blogs. In her spare time, she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.