How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is a must for many homes during the blistering summer months in the U.S.. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how scheduled 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 have a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.

What Routine AC Service Involves

Air conditioning maintenance is a low-cost, predictable yearly cost that pays you back by reducing repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some vital maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, using more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Changing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance service call, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages excellent airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil collects dirt and dust over time, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating correctly. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil emits heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is weakened. Cleaning the condenser coil improves the unit’s function significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could result in breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, cutting down on the airflow and decreasing performance.  Correcting the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to reestablish correct airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements generates heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Consistent 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, causing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. A technician uses specific tools to check and modify refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper performance and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

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

  • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your cooling system.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
  • Use a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the strain on your AC unit. It’s a good idea to program 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 near windows and doors let warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning unit.
  • Put in additional insulation: A proper attic insulation level helps create consistent indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the insulation you already have in your home, add more.
  • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Getting window coverings and drawing the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Use ceiling fans: The wind chill effect produced by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort. Don’t forget to shut the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
  • Use a dehumidifier: For those who live in a humid part of North America, high humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, giving your air conditioner 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 HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally hinder airflow. Boost circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
  • Install an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair costs in the long run.

Schedule HVAC Service in the U.S.

By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with lower repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers top-notch air conditioning tune-ups to optimize efficiency and prolong 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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