How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs
Air conditioning is essential for countless homes during the sweltering summer months in Rochester. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how scheduled air conditioning service can minimize AC repair costs, and adopt energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll enjoy a comfortable home this summer without breaking the bank.
What Routine AC Service Involves
Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable annual expense that pays you back by decreasing repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:
- Change the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, consuming 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 in-house evaporator coil can become covered in dirt and dust with time, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, blocking your air conditioner from running correctly. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
- Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil lets out heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is reduced. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s efficiency substantially, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could result in breakdowns.
- Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, restricting airflow and decreasing performance. Fixing the fins with a fin comb rearranges51 them to their original position to reestablish correct airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving hardware creates heat and causes excessive wear and tear. Scheduled lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
- Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and preventable AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses specialized tools to assess and modify refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Annual maintenance is a key factor in lessening AC repair expenditures, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioner operate reliably all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your cooling system. Find a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps manage your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the demand on your AC unit. It's a good idea to set setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to conserve on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around the edges of windows and doors allow warm, humid air into your home. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioner.
- Put in additional insulation: An appropriate attic insulation level encourages stable indoor temperatures and reduces your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
- Block solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing cooling demand. Installing window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
- Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which enables you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Remember to switch 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, causing you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes out excess moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
- Clear out your vents123: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your air conditioning to break down. To avoid this, leave at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently block airflow. Improve circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or encounter maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair bills in the long run.
Schedule HVAC Service in Rochester
By investing in regular air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Strogen's Service Experts offers top-notch AC tune-ups to optimize efficiency and prolong your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.