How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is crucial for countless homes during the hot summer months in the U.S.. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Discover how regular air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and embrace energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without breaking the bank.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable once-a-year charge that pays you back by lowering repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Replace the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, using 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 visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages ideal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, reducing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from running correctly. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil emits heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil improves the unit’s performance substantially, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could lead to breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and reducing performance.  Correcting the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to reestablish correct airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements creates heat and causes undue wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication reduces friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
  • Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. A technician uses special tools to check and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Once-a-year maintenance is a crucial factor in lessening AC repair costs, 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 cooling system.  Find a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
  • Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the demand on your AC unit. Remember to set setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save yourself on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow warm, humid air into your home. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioner.
  • Install more insulation: A correct attic insulation level encourages consistent 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 closing the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect produced by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. It’s a good idea 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 North America, increased humidity levels might make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes away excess moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
  • Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, leave at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally block airflow. Improve circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
  • Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, consider 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 fees in the long run.

Schedule Air Conditioning Repair in the U.S.

By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and following other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers quality AC tune-ups to boost efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is past its prime.

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