Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The initial signs of an impending breakdown may be subtle—weird noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of planning and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC problems this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to examine the air filter every 30 days and replace it if it’s dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, increases indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work overtime, which might contribute to breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs enough 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 sticks. Then, cut back all plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air—it also extracts excess humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These elements can become clogged over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Routinely check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, steady hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can be a sign of several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed right away.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so makes pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To deter cooling system 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 AC’s operation and minimize problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more advanced, 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

Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t merely entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping 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 glance inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing 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 excess AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, think about 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 certainly complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you walk out of the room. 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 preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing minor issues before they intensify into serious problems. A once yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure 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 tips to prevent AC 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, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are focused on providing complete 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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