There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—weird noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these small issues escalate into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a bit of planning and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC problems this summer.
One simple yet effective tip is to examine 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, improves indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work overtime, which might contribute to breakdowns.
The outdoor AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, cut back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.
Air conditioning doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These components can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Routinely inspect the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, steady hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s not right. Similarly, if you detect strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can suggest a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To prevent AC problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your air conditioner’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even change the settings with your voice.
AC efficiency doesn’t just depend on the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent straining your AC.
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize unnecessary AC activity. When brainstorming what you’re going to cook for dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioner, it can absolutely complement it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your AC system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the room. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a proactive measure aimed at finding 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 inconvenient breakdowns and costly repairs by ensuring your AC is working at its best.
Now that you know the top tips 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, Epperson Service Experts has you covered. We are committed to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 843-619-3781 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Epperson Service Experts.
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