How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is essential for many homes during the sweaty summer months in the U.S.. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how scheduled air conditioning service can decrease 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 emptying your wallet.

What Routine AC Service Involves

Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable yearly expense that pays you back by lowering repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:

    • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, utilizing more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, promotes excellent airflow and efficiency.
    • Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust as time goes by, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
    • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil emits heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil improves the unit’s efficiency significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could lead to breakdowns.
    • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, restricting airflow and decreasing performance.  Straightening the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to restore correct airflow.
    • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving parts generates heat and causes undue wear and tear.  Routine lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
    • Examine 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 professional uses special tools to check and change refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Yearly maintenance is a crucial factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair charges, but here are some other recommendations to help your AC unit operate reliably all summer long:

    • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your AC.  Choose 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 effectively, reducing the demand on your AC unit. It’s a good idea to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to help save on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
    • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors let warm, humid air indoors. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioner.
    • Add insulation: an appropriate attic insulation level promotes reliable indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
    • Block solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Installing window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
    • Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. It’s a good idea to switch the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
    • Use a dehumidifier: For those who reside in a humid part of the United States, elevated humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
    • Clear out your vents: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might cause your air conditioner to break down. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs unintentionally block airflow. Boost circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
    • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair bills in the long run.

Schedule Air Conditioning Repair 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 lower repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers quality air conditioning tune-ups to optimize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.

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