Air conditioning is essential for many homes during the sweltering summer months in Dallas. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Discover how routine air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and adopt 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 Entails
Air conditioning maintenance is an affordable, predictable yearly cost that pays you back by reducing repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:
- Change the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, consuming more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your yearly maintenance visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts optimal airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust over time, reducing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, preventing your air conditioner from running effectively. Cleaning the coil removes this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to do its job.
- Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s function significantly, 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, restricting airflow and decreasing performance. Straightening the fins with a fin comb returns them to their original position to restore correct airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components generates heat and causes undue wear and tear. Regular lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
- Check refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and preventable AC repairs. A technician uses specialized tools to check and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to verify 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 expenditures, but here are some other tips to help your air conditioner operate reliably all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your air conditioner. Find a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
- Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the strain on your AC unit. An effective technique is to program setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks near windows and doors let warm, humid air indoors. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioning unit.
- Add insulation: A proper attic insulation level promotes stable 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.
- Block 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 risk of a mid-season breakdown.
- Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without losing comfort. It’s a good idea to turn 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 North America, high humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier removes excess moisture, giving your AC a much-needed break.
- Make sure your vents are not obstructed: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your AC 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 obstruct airflow. Improve circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home 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 system. 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 costs in the long run.
Schedule HVAC Service in Dallas
By investing in scheduled air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with lower repair costs this summer. Levy & Son Service Experts offers top-notch AC tune-ups to optimize efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.