How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is a must for lots of homes during the hot summer months in the U.S.. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find out how scheduled air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and adopt energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll have a comfortable home this summer without draining your bank account.

What Routine AC Service Entails

Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable once-a-year cost that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:

    • Replace the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, burning 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, boosts optimal airflow and efficiency.
    • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, reducing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, blocking your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to operate effectively.
    • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil releases heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s performance significantly, 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 decreasing performance.  Fixing the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to regain ideal airflow.
    • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components creates heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication minimizes 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 avoidable AC repairs. An HVAC specialist uses specific tools to investigate and change refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper performance and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Once-a-year maintenance is a key factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair costs, but here are some other recommendations to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:

    • Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your AC.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
    • Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the demand on your AC unit. An effective technique is to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to conserve on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
    • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow warm, humid air inside. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioning unit.
    • Put in additional insulation: A proper attic insulation level helps create consistent indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the insulation you already have in your home, add more.
    • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing cooling demand. Installing window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
    • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without losing 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 reside in a humid part of the country, elevated humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes away unwanted moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
    • Clean your vents: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might cause your air conditioner to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally hinder airflow. Boost circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
    • Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also far less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair expenses in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in the U.S.

By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and following other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers top-notch AC tune-ups to boost efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.

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