How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is important for lots of homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Discover how regular air conditioning service can minimize AC repair costs, and learn 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 affordable, predictable once-a-year bill that pays you back by decreasing repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:

    • Replace the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, using 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 indoor evaporator coil collects dirt and dust as time goes by, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, preventing your air conditioner from running properly. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to operate effectively.
    • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil releases heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is reduced. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s performance greatly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could lead to breakdowns.
    • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and decreasing performance.  Straightening the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to regain correct airflow.
    • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements produces heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Regular lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and lowering the need for repairs.
    • Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and avoidable AC repairs. An HVAC specialist uses special tools to check and change refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance is a key factor in reducing AC repair costs, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioning unit operate dependably all summer long:

    • Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Find a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
    • Invest in a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the demand on your AC unit. Remember to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save yourself on energy costs and further diminish wear and tear.
    • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors permit warm, humid air into your home. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning unit.
    • Add insulation: an appropriate attic insulation level promotes stable indoor temperatures and reduces your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
    • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing cooling demand. Putting in window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
    • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect produced by ceiling fans makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. It’s a good idea to turn 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 country, increased humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
    • Clean your vents: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, leave at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally block airflow. Improve circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
    • Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair fees 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 decreased repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers top-notch air conditioning tune-ups to optimize efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is past its prime.

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