How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is essential for many homes during the sweaty summer months in Columbus. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find how regular air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and adopt energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without draining your bank account.

What Routine AC Service Involves

Air conditioning maintenance is a low-cost, predictable once-a-year bill that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Change the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, using more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages optimal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil can become covered in dirt and dust over time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating correctly. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil lets out heat absorbed by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s efficiency greatly, 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, cutting down on the airflow and decreasing performance.  Correcting the fins with a fin comb puts them to their original position to regain ideal airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components generates heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication reduces friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
  • Examine refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, resulting in longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. A technician uses specialized tools to assess and modify refrigerant levels as needed to verify proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance is a key factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair costs, but here are some other tips to help your air conditioner operate dependably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the demand on your AC unit. Remember to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save yourself on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow warm, humid air indoors. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioner.
  • Add insulation: A correct attic insulation level encourages stable indoor temperatures and reduces your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
  • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing cooling demand. Installing window coverings and drawing the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. It’s a good idea to turn 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 country, elevated humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out excessive moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
  • Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might cause your AC to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally obstruct airflow. Enhance circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
  • Install 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 increased efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair costs in the long run.

Schedule HVAC Service in Columbus

By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and following other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Stevenson Service Experts offers skilled AC tune-ups to boost efficiency and prolong your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.

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