There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be subtle—strange noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues escalate into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of planning and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tricks to protect against AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One easy yet effective tip is to check 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 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 more than it ought to, which may result in breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The exterior AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air successfully. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, cut back all the plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can prevent AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
The AC doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes unwanted humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These elements can become clogged over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Periodically check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner mostly runs with a soft, constant hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed promptly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To prevent air conditioning 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 enhance your AC’s operation and prevent problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t merely depend on the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that's not the case, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on99 unnecessary AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, give consideration to reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating unheated 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 absolutely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your AC system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you leave the area. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down the temperature in the room.
10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing little 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 annoying breakdowns and expensive repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Contact Calverley Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Fort Worth
Now that you know the top ways to avoid air conditioning 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, Calverley Service Experts 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 817-380-5647 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Calverley Service Experts.