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How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is important for countless homes during the hot summer months in the U.S.. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Find out how routine air conditioning service can minimize AC repair costs, and adopt energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll enjoy a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable annual bill that pays you back by reducing repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some vital maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Change the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, burning more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Exchanging 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, promotes excellent airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust with time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, stopping your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s function dramatically, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could cause 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.  Fixing the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to reestablish ideal airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving parts produces heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication diminishes 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, causing longer run times, comfort problems and avoidable AC repairs. An HVAC specialist 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 an important factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair charges, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioning unit operate faithfully all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the stress on your AC unit. An effective technique is to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to help save on energy costs and further diminish wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks near windows and doors let warm, humid air into your home. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning equipment.
  • Put in additional insulation: A correct attic insulation level helps create stable indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the insulation you already have in your home, add more.
  • Block solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Getting window coverings and pulling 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 produced by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which enables you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. Remember to switch the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
  • Use a dehumidifier: For those who are located in a humid part of the United States, elevated humidity levels might make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excessive moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
  • Clean your vents: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your air conditioning to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally block airflow. Improve circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
  • Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also far less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair costs in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in the U.S.

By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and following other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with lower repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers quality AC tune-ups to optimize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.

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