There’s almost nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—weird noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues escalate into full-blown system failures. However, with a small amount of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tips to protect against AC trouble this summer.
One easy 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 encourages smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work more than it ought to, which could cause breakdowns.
The outside 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 vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.
An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These two things can become clogged over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner for the most part functions with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear abnormal 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 check on your AC. These issues can indicate a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so makes pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To prevent air conditioning problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that maximize your air conditioning system’s operation and prevent problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and chill out 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 manage the settings with your voice.
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t simply involve the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on unneeded AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating uncooked meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioner, it can definitely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you walk out of the area. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at identifying and fixing little issues before they escalate into serious problems. An annual check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and costly repairs by making certain your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top tips to avoid AC problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are dedicated to 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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