There’s practically nothing worse than having to deal with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an upcoming breakdown may be subtle—weird noises, odd smells or diminished cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues grow into full-blown breakdowns. However, with a bit of forethought and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running effortlessly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One easy yet effective tip is to look at the air filter monthly 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 raises air conditioning efficiency. A clogged 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 successfully. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, prune all the plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can prevent AC problems and improve optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
An air conditioner doesn’t simply cool the air—it also removes unwanted humidity. This moisture collects in the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These components can become clogged over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Regularly look at the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner mostly functions with a soft, steady hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be pretty sure something’s wrong. Similarly, if you sniff out strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed promptly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and lowers system efficiency. To deter 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 maximize your AC’s operation and reduce the chance of 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 sophisticated, 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
AC efficiency doesn’t merely entail the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. 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 that's not the case, you may have 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 blazing dramatically increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to cut down on99 unnecessary AC activity. When preparing 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 absolutely complement it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This extra comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your AC system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you exit the room. That's because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.
10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance
Regular AC tune-ups are a preventative measure aimed at finding 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 making sure your AC is working efficiently.
Contact BW/Cook Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Elkhart
Now that you know the top strategies to avoid air conditioner 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 air conditioning repair, BW/Cook Service Experts has you covered. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to fulfill all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 574-218-6404 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at BW/Cook Service Experts.