Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems
There’s almost nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The earliest signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a small amount of preparation and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC trouble this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One basic yet effective tip is to examine the air filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The outdoor AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air easily. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, cut back all the vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can avert AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
The AC doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These elements can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner mostly operates with a soft, constant 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 suggest various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed right away.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so forms pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and free of obstruction by furniture, rugs and curtains.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your AC’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even control the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t merely 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 escaping. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize unnecessary AC activity. When preparing 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.
9. Run a Ceiling Fan
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioner, it can certainly accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes a 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 eliminating AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you leave the space. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.
10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing small issues before they escalate into serious problems. An annual check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and costly repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.
Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Air Conditioner Service in the U.S.
Now that you know the top tips to protect against air conditioning 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 complete 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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