Air conditioning is crucial for countless homes during the blistering summer months in Elkhart. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how routine air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and adopt energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.
What Routine AC Service Includes
Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable yearly cost that pays you back by decreasing repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some vital maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:
- Change the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, burning more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Changing your air conditioner's dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance service call, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, promotes optimal airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil collects dirt and dust as time goes by, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, stopping your air conditioner from working correctly. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
- Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil emits heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s efficiency significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could cause breakdowns.
- Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, cutting down on the airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner's performance. Correcting the fins with a fin comb puts51 them to their original position to restore correct airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components produces heat and causes undue wear and tear. Regular lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
- Check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, resulting in longer run times, comfort problems and preventable AC repairs. A skilled Expert uses specialized tools to check and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Yearly maintenance is a crucial factor in reducing AC repair costs, but here are some other recommendations to help your AC unit operate faithfully all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your AC. Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the stress on your AC unit. Remember to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to conserve on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around the edges of windows and doors permit warm, humid air indoors. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioner.
- Put in additional insulation: An appropriate attic insulation level encourages reliable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
- Block solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Putting in window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
- Use ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort. Don’t forget to switch the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
- Use a dehumidifier: For those who reside in a humid part of North America, elevated humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out excessive moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
- Clean your vents123: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently block airflow. Boost circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also far less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair fees in the long run.
Schedule HVAC Service in Elkhart
By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and adopting other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. BW/Cook Service Experts offers top-notch air conditioner tune-ups to maximize efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is past its prime.