Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The initial signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues grow into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a small amount of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC issues this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to check 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, elevates indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work more than it ought to, which may result in breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outdoor AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air effectively. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, cut back all plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can minimize AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Regularly check the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.

4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner mostly operates with a soft, steady hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed quickly.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in unused rooms may seem sensible, doing so makes pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid 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 maximize your air conditioning system's operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more effective, 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 depend on the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing 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 look inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 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.

9. Run a Ceiling Fan

While a ceiling fan can’t replace an air conditioning system, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you exit the space. That's 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 proactive measure aimed at locating and fixing small issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and expensive repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.

Contact Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air for Air Conditioner Service in San Antonio

Now that you know the top ways 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, Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air 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 210-404-4233 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air.