How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is essential for many homes during the hot summer months in the U.S.. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find out how scheduled air conditioning service can lower AC repair costs, and take up energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll enjoy a comfortable home this summer without draining your bank account.

What Routine AC Service Involves

Air conditioning maintenance is an affordable, predictable annual charge that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, consuming more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance service call, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts optimal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, blocking your air conditioner from running correctly. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat absorbed by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s efficiency greatly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could bring on breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner’s performance.  Correcting the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to regain ideal airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components produces heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication minimizes 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 avoidable AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses specialized tools to assess and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Annual maintenance is a key factor in reducing AC repair expenditures, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioner operate reliably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your cooling system.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the pressure on your AC unit. An effective technique is to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks near windows and doors permit warm, humid air into your home. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioner.
  • Put in additional insulation: A proper attic insulation level encourages stable indoor temperatures and reduces your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the insulation you already have in your home, add more.
  • Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Putting in window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Use ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Don’t forget to shut the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
  • Use a dehumidifier: For those who live in a humid part of the United States, elevated humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier removes excess moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
  • Clear out your vents: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your AC to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally obstruct airflow. Enhance circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
  • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair expenses in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in the U.S.

By investing in regular 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 air conditioner tune-ups to maximize efficiency and prolong your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.

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