Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s almost nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—strange noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these small issues escalate into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 recommendations to avoid AC trouble this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to look at the air filter each month and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, increases indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work overtime, which may result in breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The exterior AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air successfully. Regularly 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 strategies can prevent AC problems and encourage optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes unwanted humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These components can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Routinely look at the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner mostly runs with a soft, constant hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s not right. Similarly, if you detect unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed promptly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in unused rooms may seem sensible, doing so creates pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid AC 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 maximize your AC’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even manage the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t just involve the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Using 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 cut down on unneeded AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, think about 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 conditioning system, it can absolutely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce 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 leave the space. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at locating and fixing small issues before they turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.

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

Now that you know the top tips to avoid air conditioner problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are dedicated to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover 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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