There’s almost nothing worse than having to face a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown system failures. However, with a bit of forethought and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 recommendations to avoid AC problems this summer.
1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
One basic yet effective tip is to look at the air filter each month and replace it if it's dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes 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 more than it ought to, which may result in breakdowns.
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed
The exterior AC unit needs sufficient space to intake and exhaust air easily. Routinely check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or pine cones. Then, trim back any shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These strategies can minimize AC problems and encourage optimal performance.
3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan
An air conditioner doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then runs down the drain line. These elements can become blocked over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Routinely look at the drain pan and line for clogs to avert these AC issues.
4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells
Your air conditioner for the most part runs with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can be relatively certain something’s wrong. Similarly, if you detect strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can indicate a number of AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and need to be addressed quickly.
5. Keep Your Vents Open
While closing vents in empty rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and decreases system efficiency. To avoid cooling system problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and clear of furniture, rugs and curtains.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that enhance your AC’s operation and minimize problems. Once you program your temperature 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 manage the settings with your voice.
7. Check Your Attic Insulation
AC efficiency doesn’t only entail the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to see if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If it doesn't, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.
8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When you can, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to decrease99 needless AC activity. When brainstorming what you're going to cook for 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 conditioner, it can definitely work in conjunction with it. Ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added 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 space. The reason for this is because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t bring down the temperature in the room.
10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance
Regular AC tune-ups are a practical118 measure aimed at locating and fixing little issues before they escalate into serious problems. A yearly check by a knowledgeable HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Contact Matz-Rightway for Air Conditioner Service in Long Island
Now that you know the top tips to protect against air conditioning problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency AC repair, Matz-Rightway has you covered. We are focused on providing complete and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 631-406-9220 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Matz-Rightway.