Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s almost nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The earliest signs of an impending breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a touch of forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 recommendations to protect against AC problems this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One simple 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, improves indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work more than it ought to, which might contribute to breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outdoor AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air effectively. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, prune all the shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can minimize AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also takes out extra humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These two things can become clogged over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Regularly inspect 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 functions with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s amiss. Similarly, if you sniff out unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can indicate a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed promptly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in unused rooms may seem sensible, doing so forms pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid AC 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 AC’s operation and minimize 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 change the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t merely involve the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Turning on 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 decrease unneeded AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, consider 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 definitely work in conjunction with 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, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you exit the space. That’s 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 proactive measure aimed at locating and fixing small issues before they escalate into serious problems. A once yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and expensive repairs by ensuring your AC is working at its best.

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

Now that you know the top strategies 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 air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing thorough 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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