There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The initial signs of an impending breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a small amount of forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tricks to protect against AC trouble 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, improves indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work overtime, which might contribute to breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The outdoor AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air successfully. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, cut back all vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
Air conditioning doesn’t only cool the air—it also extracts extra humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These components can become blocked over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Routinely look at the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner mostly operates with a soft, constant hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s amiss. Similarly, if you detect odd electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can be a sign of a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed promptly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem wise, doing so makes pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To avoid air conditioning 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 boost your AC’s operation and prevent problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more sophisticated, 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 entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the simplest 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 that's not the case, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy significant 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 considerably increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on99 unneeded AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, think about 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 AC unit, it can definitely accentuate it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you leave the room. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down 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 turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a skilled 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 Air Engineers Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Jacksonville
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 preventative tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Air Engineers Service Experts 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 904-450-5672 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Air Engineers Service Experts.