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 first signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues grow into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a touch of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 recommendations to protect against AC issues this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to look at the air filter monthly and replace it if it’s dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work harder than it should, which may result in breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outdoor AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, cut back all vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and encourage optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t only cool the air—it also takes out unwanted humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and potential 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 runs with a soft, steady hum. If you hear abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you detect unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest a number of 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 like a good idea, doing so makes 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 enhance your air conditioner’s operation and minimize problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, 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 only entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the simplest place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy significant 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 dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on unnecessary AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, think about 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 AC unit, it can definitely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans create 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, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you exit the room. After all, 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 practical 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 annoying breakdowns and expensive 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 ways to protect against air conditioner 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 conditioning 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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