There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a bit of forethought and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One basic yet effective tip is to examine the air filter monthly and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work harder than it should, which could cause breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The exterior AC unit needs adequate 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 pine cones. Then, cut back any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
An air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air—it also extracts excess 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 potential water damage. Regularly check the drain pan and line for blockages 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 abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s amiss. Similarly, if you notice unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed right away.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so forms pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To prevent AC 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 conditioning system's operation and prevent problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the hard work. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even control the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioning efficiency doesn’t simply depend on the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so glance inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that's not the case, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing 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 cut down on99 needless 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 conditioner, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans create 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, limiting the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you walk out of 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 little issues before they intensify into serious problems. A yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.
Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for Air Conditioner Service in Edmonton
Now that you know the top strategies 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 regular tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has you covered. We are dedicated to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 587-404-0790 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.