Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The initial signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a small amount of planning and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tricks to prevent AC issues this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to look at the air filter monthly and replace it if it’s 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. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work harder than it should, which may result in breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, trim back all the vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can avert AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and potential 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, steady hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can suggest various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed quickly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in unused rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To avoid air conditioning problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and free of obstruction by furniture, rugs and curtains.

6.  Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your air conditioner’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

AC efficiency doesn’t only involve the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may need 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 at its peak dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize 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 AC unit, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans produce 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, limiting the workload on your AC system and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you leave the area. After all, 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 finding and fixing small issues before they turn into serious problems. An annual check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and expensive 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 preventative tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are dedicated to providing complete 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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