Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s almost nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a small amount of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 recommendations to protect against AC trouble this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to check the air filter monthly and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work harder than it should, which could cause breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The exterior AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air easily. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, trim back all the shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also extracts extra humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These elements can become blocked over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner typically runs with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed right away.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so makes pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To deter 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 boost your air conditioner’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the hard work. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even manage the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t only entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease unnecessary 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 complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, limiting the workload on your AC system and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you leave the space. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t reduce the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a practical measure aimed at identifying and fixing minor issues before they turn into serious problems. An annual check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making certain 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 strategies to avoid 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, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing comprehensive 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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