How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is important for countless homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Learn how scheduled air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and take up 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 draining your bank account.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable once-a-year bill that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some significant maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Change the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes 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 appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts ideal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust over time, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating effectively. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil lets out heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is reduced. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s performance substantially, 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, restricting airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner’s performance.  Fixing the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to reestablish proper airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components generates heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Consistent lubrication reduces friction, ensuring smooth operation and lowering the need for repairs.
  • Check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, resulting in longer run times, comfort problems and avoidable AC repairs. A technician uses specific tools to assess and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to verify proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Once-a-year maintenance is a key factor in lessening AC repair costs, but here are some other ideas to help your AC unit operate dependably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your cooling system.  Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the strain on your AC unit. Remember to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors let warm, humid air indoors. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning equipment.
  • Put in additional insulation: A proper attic insulation level encourages consistent 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.
  • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing cooling demand. Putting in window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Don’t forget to turn 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 the country, elevated humidity levels might make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier takes away excessive moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
  • Clean your vents: Closed or covered 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 accidentally block airflow. Enhance circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
  • Install an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair fees in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in the U.S.

By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with lower repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers skilled air conditioner tune-ups to optimize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.

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