Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in the middle of a heatwave. The earliest signs of an impending breakdown may be subtle—weird noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues grow into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a touch of planning and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Here are 10 tricks to protect against AC problems this summer.

1.  Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One basic yet effective tip is to check 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, increases indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work more than it ought to, which could cause breakdowns.

2.  Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs adequate 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 strategies can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3.  Check the Condensate Drain Pan

Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These components can become blocked over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Routinely look at 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, constant hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you detect unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can be a sign of several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should 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 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 AC’s operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your temperature schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even change the settings with your voice.

7.  Check Your Attic Insulation

AC efficiency doesn’t simply entail the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent straining 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 cut down on 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 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 air conditioner and potentially eliminating AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you walk out of the room. After all, 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 locating and fixing small issues before they intensify 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Air Conditioner Service in the U.S.

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 preventative tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet 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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