Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s practically nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The initial signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 recommendations to avoid AC problems this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to check 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 facilitates smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work harder than it should, which could cause breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, prune all the shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also takes out unwanted humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These components can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Routinely check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, constant hum. If you hear strange 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 indicate 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 wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To prevent cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.

6.  Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your AC’s operation and prevent problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and relax 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 change the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t simply depend on the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the quickest 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 it doesn’t, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on needless AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, think about reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating uncooked 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 definitely complement it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you walk out of the space. That’s because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at identifying and fixing small issues before they turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and pricey repairs by making certain 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 strategies to avoid air conditioner 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 AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are dedicated to providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to fulfill 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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