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 upcoming breakdown may be discreet—strange noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these minor issues intensify into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a touch of forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 tips to protect against AC issues this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One simple yet effective tip is to examine the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it appears 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. An overused or dirty filter, on the other hand, makes your AC work overtime, which could cause breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air easily. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, cut back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and possible 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 for the most part operates with a soft, steady hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s wrong. 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 various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed quickly.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To avoid AC 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 preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. 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. The right amount of insulation is also vital for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air getting out of your home. The attic is the easiest 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 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 blazing dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 unneeded 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 definitely complement it. Ceiling fans generate a wind chill effect that makes your 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 turn 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 minor issues before they turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and costly repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for Air Conditioner Service in West Palm Beach

Now that you know the top ways 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 routine tune-up or emergency air conditioning repair, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning has you covered. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 561-629-1826 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.

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