There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—weird noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a small amount of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC trouble this summer.
One simple 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 facilitates smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A clogged 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 enough space to intake and exhaust air successfully. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, cut back all shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can avert AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also removes extra 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 inspect the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can indicate several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and decreases 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.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your air conditioning system’s operation and prevent problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.
AC efficiency doesn’t just depend on the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.
Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on unneeded AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioner, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, limiting the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you walk out of the room. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t reduce the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at locating and fixing minor issues before they escalate into serious problems. A once yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making certain your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top ways 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 routine tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing thorough 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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