How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is important for many homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Learn how routine air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and take up energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll have a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is an affordable, predictable annual expense that pays you back by reducing repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

    • Replace the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, burning more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your yearly maintenance appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages 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 inside of the coil to freeze, preventing your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
    • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil emits heat absorbed by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s function 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 reducing performance.  Fixing the fins with a fin comb puts them to their original position to reestablish ideal airflow.
    • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components generates heat and causes undue wear and tear.  Scheduled lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
    • Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and preventable AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses specialized tools to check and adjust 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 crucial factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair charges, but here are some other recommendations to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:

    • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
    • Use a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the strain on your AC unit. An effective technique is to set 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. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioner.
    • Install more insulation: A proper attic insulation level promotes reliable indoor temperatures and will reduce 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 the demand on your AC system. Getting window coverings and closing 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 produced by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort. It’s a good idea to switch 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 North America, increased humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out excess moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
    • Clear out your vents: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your AC to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally block airflow. Enhance circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
    • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair costs in the long run.

Schedule Air Conditioning Repair 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 skilled air conditioner 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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