There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an imminent breakdown may be understated—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues escalate into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a bit of preparation and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC trouble this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One basic yet effective tip is to check the air filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, increases indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The exterior AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, prune all shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can avert AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
The AC doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These elements can become blocked over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s wrong. Similarly, if you notice strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed quickly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid air conditioning problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your air conditioner's operation and prevent problems. Once you program your preferred 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 control the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t merely entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper 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 easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that's not the case, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy substantial 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 considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 unneeded 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 air conditioning system, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your AC system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the area. The reason for this is because 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 proactive measure aimed at finding and fixing small issues before they turn 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 ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Contact Strand Brothers Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Austin
Now that you know the top ways 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 air conditioner repair, Strand Brothers Service Experts has you covered. We are dedicated to providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 512-592-3072 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Strand Brothers Service Experts.