Top 5 Way to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner | Columbia Heating and Cooling Portland
Written by Columbia HVAC

Top 5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your A/C Unit

An air conditioner is a vital part of keeping your home comfortable, particularly during the summer. Extensive repairs or replacements can get expensive. While it’s important to know when to replace and when to repair, it’s also equally as important to maintain your A/C unit. Taking the proper steps to take good care of your A/C unit can extend its life from 15 years to upwards of 20! Read on to learn five simple ways you can extend the life of your air conditioner.

1. Change your air filter regularly. Clogged filters make it more difficult for air to pass through, making your system work harder to cool down your home. According to, replacing your dirty air filter can lower an air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-10%. How often you change the filter depends on the amount you use your A/C. On average, the filter should be changed every 30-45 days. You can also help your unit run at peak efficiency by making sure your vents are clean and unobstructed by furniture.

2. Take a time-out. We have fickle weather here in Oregon. Use this to your advantage and turn off your A/C on cooler days and open windows and doors instead. Hang heavy drapes to block out the hot sun and install ceiling fans. The more you’re able to rest your A/C unit when it’s hot outside, the longer it will last.

3. Check for debris. If you’ve let your yard work fall by the wayside, there is a chance it could affect the life of your air conditioning unit. Your outdoor unit contains a fan and you’ll need to make sure it’s clear of leaves and other debris. Better yet, make sure all surrounding plants and shrubs are cut back at least four feet from the unit.

4. Automate the airflow. Programmable thermostats are a big factor in extending the life of your A/C. Keeping the thermostat programmed to a reasonable temperature prevents your system from overworking on hotter days.

5. Get a professional tune-up. At Columbia Heating and Cooling, we’re big advocates for preventative maintenance. You wouldn’t let your car go without an oil change – why let your air conditioner go without a tune-up? We recommend yearly inspections and tune-ups to ensure your unit is running efficiently and in proper working order. Give us a call today to schedule a tune-up with one of our certified HVAC technicians.