Air conditioning is a must for countless homes during the sweaty summer months in Columbia. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find out how scheduled air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and take up energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll enjoy a comfortable home this summer without draining your bank account.
What Routine AC Service Includes
Air conditioning maintenance is a reasonably priced, predictable once-a-year charge that pays you back by reducing repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:
- Swap out the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, utilizing more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Changing your air conditioner's dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your yearly maintenance service call, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages excellent airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil can become covered in dirt and dust as time goes by, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, preventing your air conditioner from working effectively. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to operate effectively.
- Clean the condenser coil: The outside 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 weakened. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s efficiency greatly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could bring on breakdowns.
- Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, cutting down on the airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner's performance. Straightening the fins with a fin comb returns51 them to their original position to regain ideal airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components produces heat and causes excessive wear and tear. Regular lubrication reduces friction, ensuring smooth operation and lowering the need for repairs.
- Double check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses special tools to investigate and modify refrigerant levels as needed to verify proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Yearly maintenance is an important factor in getting rid of avoidable AC repair costs, but here are some other ideas to help your air conditioner operate faithfully all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Elevating the thermostat setting reduces 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 manage your home’s temperature in a more efficient manner, reducing the stress 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 save on energy costs and further alleviate wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around windows and doors permit warm, humid air inside. Try using caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioner.
- Install more insulation: A correct attic insulation level promotes consistent indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
- Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing cooling demand. Installing window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hot afternoon blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger of a mid-season breakdown.
- Use ceiling fans: The wind chill effect produced by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing 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 country, high humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
- Make sure your vents are not obstructed123: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might cause your HVAC system 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 keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair bills in the long run.
Schedule AC Service in Columbia
By investing in regular air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with decreased repair costs this summer. Midland Air Service Experts offers skilled air conditioning tune-ups to boost efficiency and prolong your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.