Air conditioning is a must for countless homes during the sweaty summer months in Denver. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Find how scheduled air conditioning service can decrease AC repair costs, and take up energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll have a comfortable home this summer without breaking the bank.
What Routine AC Service Entails
Air conditioning maintenance is an affordable, predictable yearly expense that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some crucial maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:
- Replace 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. Changing your air conditioner's dirty air filter with a clean one as part of your annual maintenance visit, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, encourages optimal airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The in-house evaporator coil can become covered in dirt and dust with time, lowering its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, blocking your air conditioner from working properly. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and will make it easier for the refrigerant to operate effectively.
- Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s covered with cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is impaired. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s performance significantly, reducing wear and tear on your air conditioner that could result in 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 puts51 them to their original position to restore ideal airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving components generates heat and causes undue wear and tear. Consistent lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
- Examine refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC professional uses specialized tools to assess and change 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 reducing AC repair charges, but here are some other techniques to help your air conditioning unit operate dependably all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your air conditioner. Find a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the pressure on your AC unit. It's a good idea to program 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 near windows and doors let warm, humid air into your home. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioning unit.
- Put in additional insulation: A proper attic insulation level helps create consistent indoor temperatures and lessens your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the current insulation, add more.
- Stop solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the workload of your air conditioner. Getting window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hottest part of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
- Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect provided by ceiling fans makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting without losing 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 live in a humid part of the country, increased humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, encouraging you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
- Clean your vents123: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which may cause your air conditioning to break down. To avoid this, leave at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally block airflow. Improve circulation further by opening the doors between the rooms in your home as much as possible.
- Install an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, start thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to improved efficiency, a new system is also far less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair costs in the long run.
Schedule HVAC Service in Denver
By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and adopting other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with decreased repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning offers skilled air conditioner tune-ups to maximize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.