There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues escalate into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a small amount of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC problems this summer.
One basic yet effective tip is to check the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work harder than it should, which may result in breakdowns.
The outside AC unit needs adequate 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 sticks. Then, cut back all plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.
The AC doesn’t simply 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 two things can become clogged over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner for the most part runs with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed quickly.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem sensible, doing so makes pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To avoid cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your air conditioner’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even manage the settings with your voice.
Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t only depend on the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that’s not the case, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
Using 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 unnecessary AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating uncooked 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 create a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you exit the room. 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 practical measure aimed at locating and fixing little issues before they intensify into serious problems. A yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and costly repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top strategies to avoid AC 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 dedicated to providing thorough 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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