Your AC can last a decade or longer if it is properly maintained. Other than the filter, which you should be changing regularly, there are five parts of your air conditioner that will benefit from an annual inspection and a tuneup.
The electrical system for your AC can wear over time. An annual inspection will begin in the circuit breaker box, where the AC tech will make sure everything is connected properly and that there are no overloaded circuits. Then, the tech will inspect the wiring and control boards in the unit. They are looking for problems like worn insulation and "hot spots" or scorches that indicate a short. Any blown capacitors or switches inside the AC will also be replaced at this time.
The condenser consists of a heat exchanger, also called the condensing coils, which looks like small blades on vents on the side of the exterior AC unit. Over time, a condenser can get coated in dirt and dust, or the blades can become bent and warped. Both of these issues can lead to poor heat exchange and eventually cooling problems. Your AC tech will clean off the condenser and use a fin comb to straighten any damage.
The compressor brings in the refrigerant gas and literally compresses the gas to create the cold air that is blown through your home. Your service tech will inspect the unit for leaks, particularly in the coolant lines leading into the unit. If leaks are found, they will need to be repaired and fresh refrigerant must be added to the system.
4. Fan Assembly
The fan assembly consists of the fan and the fan or blower motor. This is the part of your AC with the most moving parts, so it is the most likely culprit when you have cooling issues. During the yearly inspection and maintenance, your tech will clean the entire assembly and lubricate all the moving parts so they move slowly. Older units may have a belt-driven fan, which means you may also need to have the belt replaced. If the fan is wobbly or doesn't move smoothly, you may need to have the fan bearings repacked or a new fan installed.
The final part to have inspected is the indoor thermostat. Over time, thermostats can fail. Often, a replacement is the easiest and most cost-effective option. Your tech will verify that the thermostat is calibrated to read temperatures accurately and make sure the wiring to the thermostat is in good condition.
For more help, contact an air conditioning maintenance service like Art Douglas Plumbing Inc in your area