How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is essential for countless homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Find how regular air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and learn 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 yearly cost that pays you back by decreasing repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some significant maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Change the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes 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 visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages ideal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust as time goes by, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating properly. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to operate effectively.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil lets out heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is weakened. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s performance significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could result in breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, restricting airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner’s performance.  Straightening the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to reestablish proper airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving hardware generates heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Scheduled lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and lowering the need for repairs.
  • Double check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses specific tools to check and modify refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance is a key factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair expenditures, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioning unit operate dependably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
  • Use a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more efficiently, 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 diminish wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioner.
  • Install more insulation: A proper attic insulation level encourages stable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
  • Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Installing window coverings and drawing the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which enables you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
  • Use a dehumidifier: For those who reside in a humid part of the country, increased 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 blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently obstruct airflow. Improve circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
  • Install an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair fees in the long run.

Schedule Air Conditioning Repair in the U.S.

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

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