There’s almost nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The earliest signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—strange noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a touch of planning and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC trouble this summer.
One simple yet effective tip is to examine the air filter monthly 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, causes your AC to work harder than it should, which may result in breakdowns.
The outdoor AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air easily. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, prune all the plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.
Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These two things can become clogged over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner for the most part functions with a soft, steady hum. If you hear unusual 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 indicate several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed quickly.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To deter cooling system 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 boost your air conditioning system’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the hard work. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even control the settings with your voice.
AC efficiency doesn’t just entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look 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 straining your AC.
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease unneeded AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, consider 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 definitely accentuate it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your AC system and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the space. 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 little issues before they intensify into serious problems. A once yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and expensive repairs by making sure your AC is working at its best.
Now that you know the top ways to protect against AC problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are focused on providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet 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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