Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems
There’s almost nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The initial signs of an upcoming breakdown may be understated—strange noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 recommendations to protect against AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One easy yet effective tip is to examine the air filter monthly and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work more than it ought to, which might contribute to breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The outside AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air successfully. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, prune any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can prevent AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
Air conditioning doesn’t simply cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Routinely inspect the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner mostly operates with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s wrong. Similarly, if you detect odd 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 right away.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so creates pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To deter AC problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that enhance your air conditioning system's operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even control the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t merely depend on the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that's not the case, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease99 unneeded AC activity. When brainstorming what you're going to cook for dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating unheated meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
9. Run a Ceiling Fan
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioning system, it can absolutely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you exit the area. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.
10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance
Regular AC tune-ups are a practical118 measure aimed at finding and fixing minor issues before they intensify into serious problems. A once yearly check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and pricey repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for Air Conditioner Service in North America
Now that you know the top ways to prevent air conditioning 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 conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has you covered. We are focused on providing complete 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.