There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—weird noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues grow into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a bit of preparation and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 recommendations to avoid AC trouble this summer.
One easy yet effective tip is to check the air filter each month and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work more than it ought to, which may result in breakdowns.
The outdoor AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air successfully. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, trim back all vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also takes out unwanted humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner mostly operates with a soft, steady hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed right away.
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To prevent cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and free of obstruction by furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your air conditioner’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren’t home or even change the settings with your voice.
Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t only depend on the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on excess AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, give consideration to reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating unheated meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioning system, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, limiting the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you walk out of the space. That’s because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing little issues before they escalate into serious problems. A once yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working at its best.
Now that you know the top tips to protect against air conditioner problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a preventative tune-up or emergency air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 866-397-3787 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
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