How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is essential for lots of homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Learn how regular air conditioning service can minimize AC repair costs, and adopt energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll enjoy a comfortable home this summer without spending a lot.

What Routine AC Service Involves

Air conditioning maintenance is a low-cost, predictable yearly bill that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:

    • Change the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, burning more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Exchanging your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts ideal airflow and efficiency.
    • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil can become covered in dirt and dust with time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating properly. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to operate effectively.
    • Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat absorbed by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s efficiency substantially, 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, reducing airflow and decreasing performance.  Fixing the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to regain proper 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.
    • Double check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. A technician uses specialized tools to check and modify refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance is an important factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair expenditures, but here are some other techniques to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:

    • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your AC.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
    • Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the stress on your AC unit. It’s a good idea to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to help save on energy costs and further diminish wear and tear.
    • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks near windows and doors allow warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioning unit.
    • Add insulation: A correct attic insulation level encourages stable indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
    • Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Getting window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
    • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Don’t forget 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 the country, increased humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
    • Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your AC to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently hinder airflow. Enhance circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
    • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioner 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 bills in the long run.

Schedule Air Conditioning Repair in the U.S.

By investing in regular air conditioning maintenance and adopting 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 optimize efficiency and lengthen 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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