HVAC Repair Tips


On average an HVAC system can last from 15-20 years. While it sounds like a good amount of time, given the replacement costs of the entire unit or those expensive parts, you will want to know how to prolong the life of your HVAC system. Now, Your HVAC system’s lifespan depends on many factors, but an important factor is proper maintenance. It encompasses various inspections and repairs done by air conditioning repair services.

Apart from that, there are many things you can do yourself or be aware of to increase your unit’s life. Here they are!

Things You Can Do To Prolong Your HVAC’s Life

Clean Or Replace The Air Filters Often

This is a common advice you get from people. It’s common because it’s critical and effective. As air filters keep blocking dust and various particles from wreaking havoc on the HVAC system, they become clogged to the point that even a lot of air can’t pass through them. This directly impacts the airflow or your HVAC system.

You notice poor airflow and the HVAC system not cooling properly. But this is what you feel. Your air conditioner is getting damaged because of it. When the airflow is not enough to cool or heat the house optimally, the unit works harder to make up for that.

This leads to many complications down the road if the air filters are not cleaned. The problems could be a damaged compressor and overheating of various AC components. This causes a reduced air conditioner life.

Therefore, clean or replace the air filters as required. The frequency of air filter cleaning or replacement depends on the type of AC and HVAC system and your usage. However, it’s a good habit to clean or replace the air filters at least once a month.

Clean The Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit which is also called the condenser unit withstands all the outdoor elements. So, it becomes dirty and clogged with dust, dirt, leaves, and debris. This makes this difficult for the condenser unit to perform its job. Its job is to remove heat from the condenser coils installed in it by using the fan (in cooling mode). As dust covers the coils and leaves can block the fan, heat isn’t effectively removed.

This puts stress on all the components of the condenser unit including the compressor leading to overheating and other problems that can drastically impact the lifespan of your unit.

The cleaning frequency depends on your usage, but you should make sure to clean the condenser unit once every 2 months.

Furthermore, you should also make sure that plants or trees are not too near the unit. Their leaves should be at least six inches away from the unit in every direction. The same rule applies to the nearest walls and any other appliances or objects near the condenser unit.

Schedule HVAC Tune-Up Twice A Year

HVAC systems are not too high maintenance because they do need tune-ups twice a year. An HVAC inspection and service will ensure that your system is running efficiently. Moreover, it will help you spot problems early on before they become costly repairs. The quicker you fix an air conditioner problem, the better it will be for the life expectancy of your unit.

Scheduling HVAC maintenance by an expert will help you prepare your system for the new season around the corner. Therefore, one tune-up should be scheduled in spring for your air conditioner to cool smoothly in summer while the second HVAC service should be in fall for your furnace and/or heat pump maintenance.

Set The Thermostat A Few Degrees Above Your Cooling Level

It doesn’t sound right to adjust your air conditioner temperature and set it a few degrees above your existing level, but it can make a big difference in increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system and lowering your cooling bill.

You don’t have to go too warm. Start by turning the thermostat two degrees warmer than your favorite level and then keep making it a bit warmer if you don’t feel uncomfortable until you find a sweet spot.

Keep The Vents Open, Clean, And Unobstructed

You need to keep all the vents of your HVAC system clean and unobstructed. Because if they are not clean or something is blocking them from supplying or returning air, this will put stress on your HVAC unit which will cause damage to the components reducing the life of your air conditioner.

If you can remove the cover of the vents and clean them once a month or so. Moreover, make sure that things like curtains, furniture, appliances, or any other thing aren’t blocking the vents.

Don’t Keep The Air Conditioner On When Nobody’s At Home

If nobody’s at home in the daytime, then turn off the unit before you leave or the last person who leaves. You might feel that this will make things uncomfortable when you reach home, but you can manage this easily by setting a timer on the thermostat so it turns off 30 minutes before you arrive home. This will reduce AC usage and increase its life.

Ductwork Inspection And Cleaning

The ductwork is an important part of your HVAC system. Leaks, cracks, and dents can let cool air escape before reaching you. This can put the air conditioner in a loop because it will keep trying to reach the set temperature but it will become difficult for it.

Due to this, the air conditioner will keep running for longer periods of time putting stress on its components leading to lower efficiency, higher energy bills, and a reduced lifespan.

In addition to that, clogs and debris buildup in the ductwork can restrict the airflow which is also as bad for your HVAC system as leaks.

Therefore, you should get your air ducts inspected as well during the bi-annual HVAC inspections. This will ensure that the experts detect leaks and cracks if any, and fix them. Moreover, the experts will also suggest ductwork cleaning as required. Usually, you should have the air ducts cleaned once every 2 to 4 years.

Use The Auto Settings Of Your Air Conditioner Or Thermostat

This is one of the most common settings in thermostats and ACs. It controls the fan speed and reduces it when required. If the fan is set at High settings, the fan will keep working at the maximum which eats up more energy and also leads to more dust buildup on the air filters, and increases unnecessary wear and tear.

Upgrade Your Home Insulation

Your home’s insulation is the best friend of your HVAC system because it aids the system in keeping the house cool or warm more easily if it’s installed properly. On the other hand, poor insulation will keep the air conditioner busy. It will work more and cycle on and off more which will reduce its life expectancy.

So, during your HVAC inspection, have your home insulation inspected as well so you can upgrade if required.


HVAC systems will eventually give up and you will need to buy a new one, but there are ways you can ensure that this doesn’t happen sooner than expected. Follow the above tips for that and consult HVAC repair services McLean for annual inspections and repairs.


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