Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The earliest signs of an impending breakdown may be subtle—strange noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of preparation and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC problems this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to check the air filter each month and replace it if it’s dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged 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 exterior AC unit needs sufficient 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 the shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also takes out excess 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 possible water damage. Periodically inspect the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner for the most part operates with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s not right. Similarly, if you notice strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed quickly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid 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 maximize your air conditioning system’s operation and minimize problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and unwind 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 entail the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to see 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 significant energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Turning on 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 on unneeded AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, consider 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 work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, limiting the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you leave the space. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at identifying and fixing little issues before they escalate into serious problems. A yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and pricey repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.

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 preventative tune-up or emergency air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet 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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