Photo by: American Home Shield
During hot summer days, you depend a lot on your air conditioning system to keep your home cool and comfortable. While you can’t avoid all malfunctions, a little air conditioning maintenance and troubleshooting goes a long way to keep your system functioning at its best, and may help minimize expensive repairs. Regular a/c maintenance also helps you become familiar with your system and its components, which can sometimes help you solve little problems before they become big ones. Here are some helpful air conditioning tips for common problems you may encounter this summer:
Problem: You’re not sure if your a/c is ready to handle the heat.
Try this: Call a qualified air conditioning professional to service your system a month or so before you expect temperatures to rise in your area. An annual service and inspection gives your technician an opportunity to perform some important checks and preventive maintenance tasks to help your system run smoothly.
Problem: Your electric bills are a bit higher than you expected and you’re not sure your air conditioning system is cooling as efficiently as it should.
Try this: Check your cooling filters each month while the system is in use and replace when needed. Clogged filters can impede airflow as well as allow dirt to enter the system, which can potentially cause damage. Regularly replacing your air conditioning filters is an easy way to increase your unit’s efficiency and avoid costly repairs.
Problem: The air conditioner isn’t making the air cold enough.
Try this: Keep the air around the exterior condensing unit clear of leaves, shrubbery, twigs, and debris to make sure the air around the unit is circulating freely and nothing is falling inside the unit. If your unit sits in full sun, try creating some shade around it to help it cool more efficiently. Check the unit’s suction line (large line) for signs of wear and replace any worn insulation.
Problem: Water from the unit is leaking into the walls or ceiling.
Try this: Make sure the drain line isn’t restricted and condensation is draining freely. Your system’s condensate drain line may need cleaning.
Problem: The unit constantly cycles on and off.
Try this: Call a qualified air conditioning professional to clean the evaporator unit and fan.
Problem: You want to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home as inexpensively as possible.
Try this: Install a programmable thermostat to help keep costs down and to lower wear and tear on your air conditioning system. You can program the thermostat to let the heat rise during the hours that you are away from the home, and then lower the room temperature when people are present. In addition to maximizing convenience and comfort, a programmable thermostat can also help you save on electricity costs. You can find programmable thermostats in most hardware and home stores.
Problem: You’re worried that a potential air conditioning repair may bust your budget.
Try this: Consider home warranty coverage to help you protect this important home system (and your wallet) in the event of covered breakdowns.