How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

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

What Routine AC Service Entails

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

  • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, burning 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 in-house evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from running correctly. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil improves the unit’s function significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could bring on breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, cutting down on the airflow and reducing performance.  Correcting the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to restore proper airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving parts produces heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Routine lubrication reduces friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
  • Double check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and preventable AC repairs. A technician uses specialized tools to assess and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Once-a-year maintenance is an important 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: Elevating the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your cooling system.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the pressure on your AC unit. An effective technique is to set setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to conserve on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around the edges of windows and doors permit warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning unit.
  • Install more insulation: A proper attic insulation level promotes reliable indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
  • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Installing window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing 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 reside in a humid part of the country, elevated humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
  • Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might cause your AC to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally block airflow. Boost circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
  • Install an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair fees in the long run.

Schedule HVAC Service in the U.S.

By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with decreased repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers quality AC tune-ups to maximize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.

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