There’s practically nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The earliest signs of an imminent breakdown may be understated—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a small amount of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tricks to prevent AC problems this summer.
One basic yet effective tip is to check 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, increases 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 may result in breakdowns.
The outdoor AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, prune any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.
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 runs down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner for the most part operates with a soft, constant hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s not right. Similarly, if you notice strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so creates pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid 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 minimize problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.
AC efficiency doesn’t simply involve the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. 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 it doesn’t, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.
Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease unnecessary AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, give consideration to 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 AC unit, it can certainly accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to turn 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 proactive measure aimed at locating and fixing small issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making sure your AC is working at its best.
Now that you know the top ways 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 routine tune-up or emergency air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing comprehensive 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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