Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems
There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an impending breakdown may be understated—unusual noises, odd smells or decreased cooling. Before you know it, these small issues escalate into full-blown system failures. However, with a touch of preparation and scheduled maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 recommendations to protect against AC trouble 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 raises air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work harder than it should, which might contribute to breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The outdoor AC unit needs enough 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 any plants growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
An air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes extra humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These two things can become clogged over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Periodically inspect the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner typically functions with a soft, steady hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s not right. Similarly, if you detect unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and must be addressed promptly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem like a good idea, 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 boost your air conditioning system's operation and reduce the chance of problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and chill out while your thermostat does the hard work. Smart models are even more effective, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even manage the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t merely involve 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 escaping. The attic is the best place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek 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 need to add more insulation to enjoy substantial energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 excess AC activity. When brainstorming what you're going to cook for dinner in the summer, think about 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 certainly work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes a 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 eliminating AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you leave 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 proactive measure aimed at locating and fixing small issues before they turn into serious problems. A once yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making sure your AC is working efficiently.
Contact Peachtree Service Experts for Air Conditioner Service in Atlanta
Now that you know the top strategies 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 air conditioner repair, Peachtree Service Experts has you covered. We are dedicated to providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to fulfill all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 678-235-9699 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Peachtree Service Experts.