How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is a must for many homes during the blistering summer months in the U.S.. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Learn how scheduled air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and take up 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 spending a lot.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable once-a-year cost that pays you back by decreasing repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Replace the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, burning more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your yearly maintenance appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts ideal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust as time goes by, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, stopping your air conditioner from operating correctly. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil lets out heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is reduced. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s performance dramatically, 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 reducing performance.  Straightening the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to reestablish ideal airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components produces heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Regular lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and lowering the need for repairs.
  • Examine refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, resulting in longer run times, comfort problems and avoidable AC repairs. A technician uses specific tools to check and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Once-a-year maintenance is a key factor in lessening AC repair charges, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioner operate faithfully all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the stress on your AC unit. An effective technique is to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow warm, humid air inside. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioning equipment.
  • Add insulation: A proper attic insulation level encourages reliable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
  • Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Putting in window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort. Don’t forget 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, increased humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out excessive moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
  • Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally hinder airflow. Improve circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
  • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair expenses in the long run.

Schedule HVAC Service in the U.S.

By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and following other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with decreased repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers quality air conditioning tune-ups to maximize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.

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