There’s practically nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be understated—weird noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these small issues escalate into full-blown system failures. However, with a small amount of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tips to protect against AC trouble this summer.
One easy yet effective tip is to examine the air filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.
The outside AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air successfully. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, cut back any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can avert AC problems and promote optimal performance.
Air conditioning doesn’t only cool the air—it also takes out extra humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Periodically check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner mostly runs with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so makes pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid AC problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your air conditioning system’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren’t home or even control the settings with your voice.
Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t just entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that’s not the case, 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 at the hottest time of the day considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on unnecessary AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, think about reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an AC unit, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, limiting the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the room. That’s because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t reduce the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a practical measure aimed at locating and fixing minor issues before they turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs by making certain your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top strategies to prevent air conditioning problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to fulfill 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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