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Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The first signs of an upcoming breakdown may be subtle—strange 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 regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tips to avoid AC trouble this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One simple yet effective tip is to look at the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, prune all vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can avert AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly look at 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, constant hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s wrong. Similarly, if you notice odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can suggest a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem sensible, doing so creates pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To avoid air conditioning problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.

6.  Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that enhance your air conditioning system’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the hard work. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren’t home or even manage the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

AC efficiency doesn’t simply entail the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak 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, 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 AC unit, it can definitely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce 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, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit 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 preventative measure aimed at identifying and fixing minor issues before they turn into serious problems. A once yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs by making certain 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 ways to prevent air conditioner problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are focused on providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to fulfill 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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