Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The first signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—weird noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown system failures. However, with a touch of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 recommendations to prevent AC trouble this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One simple yet effective tip is to examine the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work harder than it should, 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. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, prune all the plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

The AC doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly inspect the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.

4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner mostly runs with a soft, constant hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s not right. Similarly, if you sniff out strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed right away.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To prevent 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 maximize your air conditioner's operation and minimize problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the hard work. 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 only depend on the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. 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 it doesn't, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 unneeded AC activity. When preparing 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.

9. Run a Ceiling Fan

While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioner, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your AC system and potentially preventing 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 bring down the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a proactive measure aimed at finding and fixing minor issues before they turn into serious problems. An annual check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and expensive repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.

Contact Neal Harris Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Kansas City

Now that you know the top tips to protect against air conditioner problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a preventative tune-up or emergency AC repair, Neal Harris Service Experts has you covered. We are dedicated to providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 816-787-0500 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Neal Harris Service Experts.

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