How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is essential for many homes during the blistering summer months in the U.S.. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find how regular 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 be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.

What Routine AC Service Includes

Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable once-a-year expense that pays you back by lowering repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:

    • Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter restricts airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, using more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages excellent airflow and efficiency.
    • Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust with time, decreasing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, stopping your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and helps the refrigerant to do its job.
    • Clean the condenser coil: The outside condenser coil emits heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is reduced. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s function dramatically, 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, reducing airflow and decreasing performance.  Straightening the fins with a fin comb rearranges them to their original position to regain correct airflow.
    • Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements creates heat and causes undue wear and tear.  Regular lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
    • Double 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 professional uses specialized tools to assess and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to ensure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

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

    • Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your cooling system.  Find a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
    • Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the pressure on your AC unit. It’s a good idea to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to help save on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
    • Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors permit warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioner.
    • Put in additional insulation: an appropriate attic insulation level helps create consistent indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
    • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Getting window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
    • Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect produced by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Don’t forget to switch the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
    • Use a dehumidifier: For those who live in a humid part of the United States, elevated humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
    • Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or covered air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your air conditioner to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs inadvertently obstruct airflow. Improve circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
    • Install 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 improved efficiency, a new system is also much less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair fees in the long run.

Schedule AC Service in the U.S.

By investing in routine 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 skilled air conditioner tune-ups to maximize efficiency and prolong your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is past its prime.

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