Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The first signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these small issues intensify into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a bit of preparation and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC trouble this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy 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 encourages smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air successfully. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, prune any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

The AC doesn’t only cool the air—it also takes out excess humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These components can become blocked over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Periodically check the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.

4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner for the most part operates with a soft, constant hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed right away.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so makes pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To prevent cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.

6. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your air conditioner's operation and prevent problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even manage the settings with your voice.

7. Check Your Attic Insulation

AC efficiency doesn’t only depend on the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the best 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 not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on99 unneeded AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, give consideration to 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 conditioning system, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, limiting the workload on your air conditioner and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the area. That's because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at identifying and fixing small issues before they turn into serious problems. An annual check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and expensive repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.

Contact Robinson Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Waukegan

Now that you know the top strategies to protect against air conditioner problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a preventative tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Robinson Service Experts has you covered. We are focused on providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 847-306-8730 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Robinson Service Experts .