If you have an old air conditioner, you may worry it won't survive the summer. Replacing it would probably be your best bet, but if that's not in the cards right now, you still have options. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of a breakdown and help keep your older AC unit working through the summer.
Schedule an AC Maintenance Appointment
Call a local HVAC company, and make an appointment for maintenance or a tune-up before summer. In most cases, a maintenance appointment and a tune-up appointment are the same things; different companies just use different terminology.
During this appointment, your HVAC contractor will clean the AC unit, which will allow it to operate more easily and efficiently. They'll also lubricate any moving parts, which will reduce wear and tear and lower your risk of a breakdown. They may even find some small repairs they can make to prevent your need for bigger repairs down the road.
Turn the Thermostat Down
If you had a perfect, brand new air conditioner, you could likely keep your home at 68 or 70 degrees without worry. But since your AC unit is struggling a bit, you are better off turning the thermostat up a few degrees. Keep your home around 74 or 76. You'll get used to this temperature and stay moderately comfortable, and your AC unit won't have to work as hard. This means it is less likely to break down or drive your energy bills way up.
Change Your Filter On Schedule
It's always a good idea to change your air conditioner filter on schedule. However, this is even more important when your AC unit is older. When a furnace filter gets full, the blower motor has to work harder to push air through the filter. This is particularly hard on older blower motors. Try to change your AC filter monthly, and use good-quality filters. It's worth paying a couple more dollars for a better filter if it keeps you from having to face an AC breakdown in the middle of summer.
Air conditioners do not last forever. Eventually, you will likely have to replace your old AC unit. However, if you can't manage to do that right now, there are ways to keep your old AC unit chugging along for a few more months. Follow the tips above, and start saving for a new AC unit in the meantime. For more information on residential air conditioning, contact a professional near you.