Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an upcoming breakdown may be subtle—strange noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a bit of preparation and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 recommendations to prevent AC trouble this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to check the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work more than it ought to, which could cause breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air easily. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, trim back all plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can prevent AC problems and encourage optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also extracts unwanted humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These components can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Routinely inspect 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 unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet 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 decreases system efficiency. To prevent cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.

6. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that enhance your air conditioner's operation and prevent problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even change the settings with your voice.

7. Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t just involve the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn't, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 unnecessary AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating uncooked 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 conditioner, it can definitely accentuate it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you exit the area. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down 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 turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and costly repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.

Contact Donelson Air Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Nashville

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, Donelson Air Service Experts has you covered. We are committed to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 615-953-9885 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Donelson Air Service Experts.

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