How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is a must for lots of homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find 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 have a comfortable home this summer without draining your bank account.

What Routine AC Service Involves

Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable annual cost that pays you back by reducing repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some significant maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Change the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, using more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Exchanging 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, encourages excellent airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil collects dirt and dust with time, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating correctly. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to do its job.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s function significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could bring on breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and decreasing performance.  Straightening the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to regain correct airflow.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements creates heat and causes excessive wear and tear.  Regular lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
  • Check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC specialist uses special 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

Annual maintenance is a crucial factor in reducing AC repair expenditures, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioning unit operate faithfully all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Find a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the pressure on your AC unit. An effective technique is to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save yourself on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
  • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors permit warm, humid air inside. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioning unit.
  • Install more insulation: A correct attic insulation level helps create stable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
  • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Putting in window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect produced by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which enables you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. It’s a good idea to turn the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
  • Use a dehumidifier: For those who are located in a humid part of the United States, high humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
  • Clean your vents: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your HVAC system to break down. To avoid this, leave 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.
  • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering 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 reduced repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers skilled air conditioning tune-ups to boost efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is past its prime.

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