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 discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a touch of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tips to avoid AC trouble this summer.
One basic yet effective tip is to look at the air filter every 30 days and replace it if it’s dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, increases indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work overtime, which may result in breakdowns.
The exterior AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, prune any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.
Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also extracts unwanted humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These elements can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly inspect the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner mostly functions with a soft, steady hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s amiss. Similarly, if you detect odd 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 should be addressed right away.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so creates pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid air conditioning 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 temperature schedule, you can sit back and relax 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.
AC efficiency doesn’t merely entail 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 leaking out. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.
Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease needless 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 air conditioning system, it can definitely complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you walk out of the space. That’s because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing little issues before they turn into serious problems. An annual check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top ways to prevent air conditioner 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 focused on providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet 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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