Air conditioning is important for many homes during the sweaty summer months in Fort Wayne. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how routine air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and take up 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 draining your bank account.
What Routine AC Service Involves
Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable annual bill that pays you back by lowering repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some significant maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:
- Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, consuming more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Exchanging your air conditioner's dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your yearly maintenance service call, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts excellent airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust with time, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, keeping 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 outdoor condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s performance greatly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could cause breakdowns.
- Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, restricting airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner's performance. Straightening the fins with a fin comb rearranges51 them to their original position to regain ideal airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements creates heat and causes excessive wear and tear. Scheduled lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
- Examine refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, resulting in longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC specialist uses special tools to investigate and change refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Annual maintenance is a key factor in reducing AC repair expenditures, but here are some other techniques to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your AC. Find a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, 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 save on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around the edges of windows and doors allow warm, humid air into your home. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioning unit.
- Add insulation: A proper attic insulation level encourages 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.
- Block 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 hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
- Use 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 sacrificing comfort. Remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
- Use a dehumidifier: For those who are located in a humid part of North America, increased humidity levels might make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier takes away excessive moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
- Clear out your vents123: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally hinder airflow. Enhance circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair expenses in the long run.
Schedule HVAC Service in Fort Wayne
By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and adopting other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with decreased repair costs this summer. Rolf Griffin Service Experts offers skilled AC tune-ups to maximize efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.