Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these small issues grow into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a small amount of forethought and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC problems this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One simple yet effective tip is to look at the air filter every 30 days and replace it when it gets dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter facilitates smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and raises air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work overtime, which might contribute to breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The exterior AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air successfully. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, trim back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can avert AC problems and improve optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

The AC doesn’t only cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These elements can become blocked over time, causing leaks and increasing the likelihood of water damage. Periodically check the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.

4. Listen for Strange Noises or Smells

Your air conditioner for the most part operates with a soft, constant hum. If you hear strange grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s not right. Similarly, if you detect strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to take a closer look at your air conditioner. These issues can suggest several different AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed right away.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem wise, doing so forms pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To avoid AC problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.

6. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that boost your air conditioning system's operation and prevent problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more sophisticated, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even change the settings with your voice.

7. Check Your Attic Insulation

AC efficiency doesn’t simply involve the unit’s mechanics. The right amount of insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, stopping warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to find out if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that's not the case, you may have to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent straining your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Operating the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is blazing significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 unnecessary AC activity. When planning dinner in the summer, think about reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating unheated meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.

9. Run a Ceiling Fan

While a ceiling fan can’t replace an AC unit, it can absolutely accentuate it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your air conditioner and potentially staving off AC problems. Just remember to switch off the fan when you exit the space. That's because the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.

10. Schedule Annual AC Maintenance

Regular AC tune-ups are a proactive measure aimed at finding and fixing little issues before they turn into serious problems. An annual check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from annoying breakdowns and costly repairs by making certain your AC is working at its best.

Contact Church Services for Air Conditioner Service in Houston

Now that you know the top tips to avoid AC problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a regular tune-up or emergency air conditioner repair, Church Services has you covered. We are focused on providing thorough and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 713-396-3760 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Church Services.