How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is important for lots of homes during the sweltering summer months in Birmingham. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find how routine air conditioning service can minimize AC repair costs, and learn energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without spending a lot.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable annual cost that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, consuming more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Changing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages ideal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, stopping your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s function substantially, 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, restricting airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner’s performance.  Fixing the fins with a fin comb puts them to their original position to reestablish correct airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving parts generates heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
  • Double check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and avoidable AC repairs. A technician uses specialized tools to check and modify refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance is a key factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair costs, but here are some other ideas to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Find a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the strain on your AC unit. An effective technique is to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors permit warm, humid air into your home. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioner.
  • Add insulation: A proper attic insulation level helps create stable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can spot 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 workload of your air conditioner. Getting window coverings and drawing the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which enables you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering 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 live in a humid part of the United States, high humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
  • Clean your vents: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your air conditioning to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently hinder 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 AC unit is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair costs in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in Birmingham

By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with lower repair costs this summer. Norrell Service Experts offers top-notch 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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