Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

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 imminent breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a small amount of preparation and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tricks to protect against AC trouble this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to look at the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work more than it ought to, which might contribute to breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The exterior AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air successfully. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, cut back all the shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can prevent AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

The AC doesn’t simply cool the air—it also extracts extra humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These components can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Periodically look at the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.

4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner for the most part runs with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s not right. Similarly, if you sniff out 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 quickly.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem sensible, 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 free of obstruction by furniture, rugs and curtains.

6. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your AC’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even control the settings with your voice.

7. Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t just involve the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to determine 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 significant energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on99 excess AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, give consideration to reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool 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 certainly complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your AC system and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you leave the room. 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 finding and fixing small 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 costly repairs by making certain your AC is working at its best.

Contact Midway Services for Air Conditioner Service in Clearwater

Now that you know the top ways to avoid AC problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a preventative tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Midway Services has you covered. We are focused on providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 727-219-2471 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Midway Services.