There’s practically nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be discreet—strange noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues escalate into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a touch of preparation and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC trouble this summer.
One easy yet effective tip is to look at the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work harder than it should, which might contribute to breakdowns.
The outside AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, cut back any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.
The AC doesn’t simply cool the air—it also takes out unwanted humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Routinely inspect the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner mostly runs with a soft, constant hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can be a sign of a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid AC problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and free of obstruction by furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that maximize your air conditioning system’s operation and minimize problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even change the settings with your voice.
AC efficiency doesn’t only entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that’s not the case, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease unnecessary AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, give consideration to reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating unheated meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an AC unit, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans produce 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, limiting the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the area. 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 practical measure aimed at finding and fixing minor issues before they intensify into serious problems. A once yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top strategies to protect against 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 AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to 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 & Plumbing.
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