Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems
There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The initial signs of an imminent breakdown may be discreet—strange noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a bit of forethought and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 recommendations to avoid AC trouble this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One basic yet effective tip is to look at the air filter monthly and replace it if it's dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A clogged 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 outside AC unit needs enough space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, prune any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
The AC doesn’t just cool the air—it also takes out excess humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These two things can get obstructed over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Regularly inspect the drain pan and line for leakage to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner typically functions with a soft, constant hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s amiss. Similarly, if you sniff out 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 must be addressed right away.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid cooling system 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 optimize your air conditioner's operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature when you aren't home or even manage the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
AC efficiency doesn’t just entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look 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 straining your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on99 unnecessary AC activity. When planning 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 definitely accentuate it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes a 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 staving off AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you walk out of the space. The reason for this is 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 preventative measure aimed at finding and fixing little issues before they escalate into serious problems. A yearly check by a skilled HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and expensive repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Contact Coastal Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Savannah
Now that you know the top tips to prevent 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 AC repair, Coastal Service Experts has you covered. We are focused on providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to fulfill all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 912-208-2399 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Coastal Service Experts.