Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The earliest signs of an imminent breakdown may be understated—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues intensify into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a small amount of forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 recommendations to prevent AC issues this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One simple yet effective tip is to examine 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 promotes smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work more than it ought to, which might contribute to breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The exterior AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air easily. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, prune all the shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t only cool the air—it also extracts excess humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These two things can become blocked over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Periodically look at the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner typically functions with a soft, constant hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s amiss. Similarly, if you sniff out strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can indicate various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To deter 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 conditioner’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the hard work. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren’t home or even manage the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t just entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize excess AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for 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 conditioning system, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans generate 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 switch off the fan when you leave the space. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t reduce the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a proactive measure aimed at identifying and fixing minor issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making certain your AC is working at its best.

Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Air Conditioner Service in the U.S.

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 preventative tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are focused on 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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