Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s almost nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be understated—strange noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a touch of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC problems this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic 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 promotes smooth airflow, increases indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. An overused 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 outdoor AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air easily. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, trim back all vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air—it also takes out extra humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These two things can become blocked over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Periodically check the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.

4.  Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s amiss. Similarly, if you detect odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed quickly.

5.  Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so makes pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To prevent air conditioning 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 enhance your air conditioning system’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the hard work. 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

AC efficiency doesn’t only entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn’t, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.

8.  Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize unneeded AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, consider 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 definitely complement it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional 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 turn off the fan when you exit the space. That’s 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 proactive measure aimed at identifying and fixing little issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and pricey repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.

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

Now that you know the top strategies to prevent 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 conditioner repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are focused on 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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