How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs

Air conditioning is important for lots of homes during the blistering summer months in the U.S.. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find out how routine air conditioning service can minimize AC repair costs, and learn 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 low-cost, predictable annual bill that pays you back by lowering repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:

  • Replace the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and causes your air conditioner to work harder, burning 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 ideal airflow and efficiency.
  • Clean the evaporator coil: The in-house evaporator coil can become covered in dirt and dust with time, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from running effectively. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
  • Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil releases heat taken in by the refrigerant. If it’s blocked by cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s performance dramatically, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could lead to breakdowns.
  • Straighten the coils’ fins: The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can become bent, reducing airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner’s performance.  Fixing 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 parts creates heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear.  Routine lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and lowering the need for repairs.
  • Examine refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC specialist uses special tools to check and change refrigerant levels as needed to assure proper operation and prevent a mid-season breakdown.

Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs

Annual maintenance is a key factor in reducing AC repair charges, but here are some other recommendations to help your air conditioning unit operate dependably all summer long:

  • Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your air conditioner.  Choose a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
  • Use a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the demand on your AC unit. An effective technique is to set 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 allow warm, humid air into your home. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioning unit.
  • Add insulation: an appropriate attic insulation level helps create consistent indoor temperatures and reduces your AC’s workload. If you can see the attic floor or joists poking through the insulation you already have in your home, add more.
  • Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Getting window coverings and drawing 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 created by ceiling fans makes a room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows 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 reside in a humid part of the United States, increased humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier removes excess moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
  • Clear out your vents: 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, keep 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.
  • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioner 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 less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair expenses in the long run.

Schedule Air Conditioning Repair in the U.S.

By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and adopting other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers skilled air conditioning tune-ups to boost efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.

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