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 earliest signs of an impending breakdown may be subtle—strange noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues intensify into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a small amount of preparation and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tips to protect against AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
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 promotes smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work harder than it should, which may result in breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The exterior AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, trim back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also takes out unwanted humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner for the most part operates with a soft, constant hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed quickly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your air conditioning system's operation and prevent problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even manage the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
AC efficiency doesn’t simply involve the unit’s mechanics. Adequate 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 look inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn't, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent straining your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 excess AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, give consideration to reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool 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 certainly work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your AC system and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the room. After all, 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 proactive measure aimed at locating and fixing small issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.
Contact Knochelmann Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Sharonville
Now that you know the top ways 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 routine tune-up or emergency AC repair, Knochelmann Service Experts has you covered. We are committed to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 859-905-0834 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Knochelmann Service Experts.