Top 10 Tips to Prevent Air Conditioning Problems

There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner in a heatwave. The earliest signs of an upcoming breakdown may be discreet—strange noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these seemingly slight issues intensify into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a small amount of preparation and routine maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running properly. Here are 10 tricks to avoid AC issues this summer.

1. Replace the Air Filter Regularly

One easy yet effective tip is to look at the air filter each month and replace it if it's dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter encourages smooth airflow, elevates indoor air quality and improves air conditioning efficiency. A plugged or dirty filter, on the other hand, forces your AC to work more than it ought to, which may result in breakdowns.

2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean and Unobstructed

The outside AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air effectively. On a regular basis check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or sticks. Then, cut back all shrubs growing within 12 inches of the unit. These actions can prevent AC problems and encourage optimal performance.

3. Check the Condensate Drain Pan

The AC doesn’t only cool the air—it also extracts excess humidity. This moisture is collected in the condensate drain pan and then moves down the drain line. These two things can become clogged over time, causing leaks and possible water damage. Routinely look at the drain pan and line for leakage 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 abnormal grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s not right. Similarly, if you detect unusual electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to check on your AC. These issues can be a sign of various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.

5. Keep Your Vents Open

While closing vents in vacant rooms may seem like a good idea, doing so forms pressure imbalances and decreases 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 maximize your air conditioning system's operation and minimize problems. Once you program your cooling and heating schedule, you can sit back and unwind while your thermostat does the heavy lifting. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature remotely or even control the settings with your voice.

7. Check Your Attic Insulation

Air conditioner efficiency doesn’t only entail the unit’s mechanics. Proper insulation is also essential for maintaining a comfortable interior, blocking warm air from seeping in and cold air leaking out. The attic is the quickest place to add insulation to an existing home, so look inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If that's not the case, you may need to add more insulation to enjoy noticeable energy savings and prevent stressing your AC.

8. Avoid Heat-Generating Activities in the Afternoon

Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer when the sun is at its peak significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When feasible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize99 excess AC activity. When brainstorming what you're going to cook for dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool 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 air conditioning system, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This additional comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, lowering the workload on your air conditioner and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to power down the fan when you exit the room. 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 small issues before they turn into serious problems. A yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from undesirable breakdowns and expensive repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.

Contact Stark Services for Air Conditioner Service in Fort Worth

Now that you know the top tips to avoid air conditioner 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 conditioning repair, Stark Services has you covered. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to cover all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 817-668-6689 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Stark Services.