Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s practically nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a small amount of preparation and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tips to avoid AC issues this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to check the air filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged 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 enough 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, cut back all shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can avert AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

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 components can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly check the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner mostly functions with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can be a sign of several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed quickly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To prevent air conditioning 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 boost your air conditioner’s operation and minimize problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t simply depend on the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look 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 stressing your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize excess AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, think about 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 conditioning system, it can certainly accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your 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. 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 preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing little issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working optimally.

Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Air Conditioner Service in the U.S.

Now that you know the top ways to prevent air conditioner 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 conditioner repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are focused on providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet 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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