Like many mechanical systems, AC needs some TLC for it run smoothly and essentially last longer!
If the filter in your AC is dirty, the device will not be working as efficiently as it should be.
By installing a new filter once each month during the cooling season for the central units and window units, or wash them if they can be washed.
Another way of checking if the filter is working at its best is by checking the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from one to twelve for home AC units – the higher the number, the better the filtration.
Fixing air leaks
It is possible for ducts to lose up to 30% of airflow through leaks, and in regards to a window AC, these are quite difficult to seal.
A way of discovering where the leaks are is by using the old ‘smoke trick’.
For window units, you could light a stick of incense and hold it alongside where the unit and the window frame meet, for a central AC, hold it near the duct connections, and if the smoke blows around – you have a leak.
To repair ductwork, an option is using foil tape to seal the smaller gaps, and for the larger gaps, duct mastic.
In regards to a window AC unit, foam should be stuffed between the device and window frame, then proceeded with a seal of tape.
Ducts that are situated in warm attics or crawl spaces must be wrapped in order to keep the air inside cool.
Spray foam, batt insulation or rigid foam insulation can all be used.
Batt and rigid insulation should be sealed with foil tape, and for tight spaces, a wrap similar to Reflectix will offer some degree of insulation.
Help it out
You can extend the life of your AC by helping it out a little as well!
Keep blinds and shades down during the day, and maybe consider running the AC in conjunction with floor or ceiling fans in order to circulate cool air effectively.
Don’t close rooms
Refrain from closing off interior doors as this can cause the central AC systems to wobble off balance, resulting in less airflow in the entire house.
Try and keep the doors slightly ajar instead.