Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems
There’s almost nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The initial signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a touch of planning and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC issues this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One simple yet effective tip is to look at the air filter each month and replace it if it’s dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work harder than it should, which could cause breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The exterior AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air effectively. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, trim back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can avert AC problems and promote optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
The AC doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Routinely inspect the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner typically runs with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s amiss. Similarly, if you detect strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed promptly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so makes pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To deter cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your AC’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 hard work. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t simply depend on the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on needless AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, think about reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating uncooked meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
9. Run a Ceiling Fan
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an AC unit, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans create 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, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you walk out of the area. That’s because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t reduce the temperature in the room.
10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance
Regular AC tune-ups are a proactive measure aimed at finding and fixing minor issues before they escalate into serious problems. A once yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs by making sure your AC is working optimally.
Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Air Conditioner Service in the U.S.
Now that you know the top strategies to protect against AC problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a routine tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive 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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