Air conditioning is essential for lots of homes during the hot summer months in Gaithersburg. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Find out how scheduled air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and learn energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.
What Routine AC Service Entails
Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable once-a-year bill that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some vital maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:
- Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, utilizing more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Changing your air conditioner's dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, promotes excellent airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The in-house evaporator coil collects dirt and dust as time goes by, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, stopping your air conditioner from working properly. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
- Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat absorbed by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is weakened. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s performance substantially, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could bring on breakdowns.
- Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner's performance. Fixing the fins with a fin comb rearranges51 them to their original position to regain correct airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving hardware generates heat and causes excessive wear and tear. Consistent lubrication reduces friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
- Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and preventable AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses special tools to assess and change refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Annual maintenance is a crucial factor in reducing AC repair expenditures, but here are some other recommendations to help your air conditioner operate dependably all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your cooling system. Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the strain on your AC unit. Remember to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to help save on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors let warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning unit.
- Put in additional insulation: A proper attic insulation level helps create stable indoor temperatures and reduces your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
- Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Installing window coverings and drawing the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
- Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. Remember to shut the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
- Use a dehumidifier: For those who live in a humid part of the United States, elevated humidity levels might make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
- Clear out your vents123: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently obstruct airflow. Enhance circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair expenses in the long run.
Schedule Air Conditioning Repair in Gaithersburg
By investing in regular air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with decreased repair costs this summer. Parker Pearce Service Experts offers top-notch air conditioning tune-ups to maximize efficiency and prolong your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.