Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s almost nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The earliest signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—strange noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues escalate into full-blown system failures. However, with a touch of preparation and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tricks to prevent AC issues this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to examine the air filter each month and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, increases indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work overtime, which may result in breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The exterior AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, cut back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also extracts extra humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These elements can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly inspect the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner typically 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 notice odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can indicate various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed right away.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in unused rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so forms pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To prevent AC 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 optimize your air conditioning system’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even control the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t merely entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that’s not the case, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on needless AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, give consideration to 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 certainly work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes the 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 turn off the fan when you walk out of the room. The reason for this is because 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 finding and fixing little issues before they turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and pricey repairs by ensuring 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 ways to protect against 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 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 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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