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Avoid Air Conditioner Emergencies With These 6 Tips

Air conditioner emergencies are one of the realities that can add significant stress to homeownership. Not knowing when your AC system will break down or how much the repairs will cost can keep you on edge. You can avoid a costly and comfort-reducing air conditioner emergency in Moore Haven, FL, by following these six simple tips:

Keep an Eye on Your Air Filters

Your air filters are the entryway into your AC system, removing harmful contaminants before they can clog your air conditioner. Filters will inevitably clog as they do their job, restricting airflow into the AC system and increasing operational strain. Standard filters typically need replacing every 60 to 90 days.

How long a filter lasts depends on its design, how you use your AC system and your home’s air quality. Rather than guessing, plan to inspect your filter monthly to check its condition. You can extend its service life by gently vacuuming the intake side when you check it.

Clean Your Ducts Routinely

Your ducts collect contaminants that enter through the vents and those that aren’t stopped by the filter. The challenge is that these contaminants can both restrict airflow through the ducts and recirculate back into your home’s air.

The solution is having your ducts professionally cleaned routinely. The standard recommendation is cleaning every three to five years. However, you may need it more often if you complete a home project or have poor indoor air quality.

Keep Your Outdoor AC Unit Clean and Clear

Restricted airflow is the most common cause of excessive operational strain. This holds true for your outside AC unit, which depends on airflow to vent heat absorbed from inside your home. Restricted airflow through your condensing unit reduces your system’s efficiency and strains the compressor.

Every outdoor unit should ideally have at least two feet around it cleared of debris, branches, bushes, weeds and grass. Further, pollen, dirt and dust can clog the condensing coil fins. Gently clean the unit with water from your garden hose two or three times over the summer.

Program Your Thermostat

A common thought is that it’s better to keep your home at the same temperature throughout the day. This may be true if you are home all day and want to keep your home comfortable. However, if your home remains empty while everyone is at school and work, it adds needless wear and tear.

Rather than continuing to strain the AC system, try adjusting the temperature by 7 to 10 degrees while everyone’s gone. Modern digital thermostats offer programs to help you make these adjustments automatically. This serves to both reduce your heating and cooling costs and reduce energy usage.

Pay Attention To Small Problems

It’s tempting to ignore small problems, hoping they’ll fix themselves or at least that they won’t worsen. However, the reality of AC systems is that when one part doesn’t work well, it increases wear on the entire air conditioner. The result is more frequent and potentially expensive AC repairs, along with a shorter service life.

Call to schedule an AC repair as soon as you notice a problem. These issues may include:

  • Reduced supply vent airflow.
  • Unexplained increases in cooling costs.
  • Insufficient temperature control.
  • Unusual noises while starting up or running.
  • Excess humidity in your home.

Get Routine AC Maintenance

Don’t forget to schedule routine professional maintenance in the spring. During maintenance, your service technician will clean and test your system and also tighten electrical connections and mounting hardware. They’ll run various tests to identify components working sub-optimally, sometimes before you notice a problem. The goal is to identify burgeoning problems before they damage your system.

Most AC emergencies are preventable when you pay attention to your system and maintain it. Call to schedule your AC maintenance with one of our NATE-certified service technicians at Miller’s Central Air, Inc. We’ll help you prevent a costly and comfort-reducing air conditioner emergency in Moore Haven, FL.

Image provided by iStock

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