Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems
There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues intensify into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a bit of planning and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 recommendations to prevent AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One simple yet effective tip is to look at the air filter every 30 days 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 raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The outside AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, prune all shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can avert AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
Air conditioning doesn’t only cool the air—it also takes out extra 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 possible water damage. Routinely look at the drain pan and line for clogs 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 bet something’s not right. Similarly, if you detect strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can suggest various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed promptly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so makes pressure imbalances and reduces 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 maximize your air conditioner's operation and minimize 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 advanced, 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 merely entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the best 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 it doesn't, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent overloading your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Using the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak 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 planning 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 air conditioning system, it can definitely complement it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioning system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you walk out of the space. That's because 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 proactive measure aimed at finding and fixing minor issues before they intensify into serious problems. An annual check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and pricey repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.
Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for Air Conditioner Service in Ocala
Now that you know the top ways to avoid air conditioning problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a routine tune-up or emergency air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has you covered. We are focused on providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 352-414-4006 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.