How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is a must for lots of homes during the sweltering summer months in the U.S.. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Discover how scheduled air conditioning service can lower AC repair costs, and take up energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll have a comfortable home this summer without spending a lot.

What Routine AC Service Involves

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

  • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, consuming more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Changing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your yearly maintenance appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts optimal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating effectively. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil lets out heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s performance significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could lead to breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and reducing performance.  Correcting the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to regain proper airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving parts generates heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Regular lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
  • Double check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses specific tools to check and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to verify proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Once-a-year maintenance is a crucial factor in lessening AC repair charges, but here are some other techniques to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your AC.  Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Use a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the stress on your AC unit. Remember to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to conserve on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks near windows and doors let warm, humid air into your home. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning equipment.
  • Add insulation: A correct attic insulation level promotes reliable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
  • Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Installing window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. Don’t forget 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, high humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes away excess moisture, giving your air conditioner 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 may cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally block airflow. Enhance circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
  • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair costs in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in the U.S.

By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and adopting other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers top-notch air conditioning tune-ups to maximize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is past its prime.

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