AC and Heating Tip from AC Express
Minimizing the Need for AC Repairs
Air conditioning in Austin sometimes seems like a constant battle. We do what we can to avoid needing repairs but despite our best efforts sometimes things don’t work like they should. But there are things that can be done to avoid needing AC repairs in Austin. The last thing we want is to have to pay costly prices for extensive repairs, especially when those repairs could have been avoided with a few simple habits and tasks.
That’s what this helpful tip is about. It’s about what habits and regular tasks you can do to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your AC unit. Air conditioners are complicated machines that require maintenance, perhaps more maintenance than you think. Luckily, most of the tasks I’ll talk about in this tip are fairly simple and easy to perform. The real strength in these tasks is in being able to remember to do them regularly. It’s about good habit forming. We form good habits in order to make our lives better over long periods of time. Good AC maintenance habits are no different. With an air conditioner that runs more smoothly and costs us less money, your life will be better, cooler, and more comfortable. So read on to learn about ways you can reduce the load on your air conditioner, what sort of maintenance tasks you can do on your own, and what things you should schedule preventative maintenance visits for.
How to Use Your AC Less
Using your air conditioner less is the most common sense way of minimizing the need for AC repairs. It just makes sense, really. Something, anything, has a lower chance of breaking down if it’s used less, the less use, the less wear, the less wear, the higher the performance. But what exactly does using your AC unit less look like, and what should it look like? The first concern I’m sure you have about the prospective of using your air conditioner less is that you’ll be less comfortable. Well, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t and shouldn’t just turn your AC unit off occasionally and just bear the heat for the sake of saving money.
That’s because of two reasons. The first is that air conditioners use the most energy when they’re going from off to a fully cooled home. It’s better to save money and AC usage by turning the temperature up a few degrees rather than turning the AC off completely. The second reason is that if the AC is turned off than not only is it not providing cool air, it’s not removing humidity from the air either. Air conditioners can help dehumidify your home in addition to cooling it. So if humidity is an annoyance for you, be sure to think twice before turning off your air conditioner. And humidity isn’t just bad for people; it’s bad for your air conditioner as well.
When you first turn on your air conditioner, take a few days to test out a variety of temperatures to find where you feel the most comfortable. Begin by setting your thermostat to a temperature that you may think is a little too high. Then, begin making small incremental changes until you achieve a temperature where you feel comfortable. Having your thermostat set higher can keep your air conditioner from running more than it needs to, saving you money overall. Even a degree warmer can make a big impact in the cost of your monthly energy bills, so find that sweet spot.
Use fans to reduce the amount of work your air conditioner has to do. With the strategic use of fans, you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees even while you’re home and not sacrifice any comfort. There’s a right and a wrong way to use fans however which is based both on when you use them and where they’re pointed. Contrary to what most people think, fans don’t actually cool the surrounding air. Instead, they make you feel cooler by pushing air past you. This means that fans can provide amazing summertime relief, but that leaving them on in rooms no one is in doesn’t do much but waste energy. So turn them on only when you’re in the room. Secondly, make sure they’re spinning the right way. When you’re trying to cool down, ceiling fans should be blowing air down. When trying to stay warm, fans should be switched on the reverse way if possible, or turned off completely.
Also, watch out for the placement of your thermostat. The thermostat is what contains the thermometer that tells your air conditioner how long to run for. If your thermostat is getting more heat than the rest of the household, then it will read a higher temperature than what most of the house is at which will cause the air conditioner to run more than it needs to. So make sure the thermostat is in a location that isn’t getting too much direct sunlight and that there are no heat producing appliances near it such as lamps or ovens.
Anything you can do to keep your house cooler is going to reduce how hard your air conditioner has to work. That means you should use blinds and curtains as much as possible. Heavy curtains blocking sunlight from coming in through windows will go far in reducing the amount of heat that enters the home. That in turn means the AC unit will not have to run as long. Also make sure your outdoor unit is in as shady of a location as possible. It makes sense that an air conditioner in the shade will cool more efficiently and not work as hard when it is not baking in the sun all day.
There are a number of things you can and should be doing at regular intervals throughout the year to make sure your air conditioner will last as long as possible and minimize the need for repairs. These are small tasks that don’t take much time and will really pay off in the long run when you make a habit of doing them regularly.
The first and perhaps most important one is to replace your air filters. The air filters are those thin rectangles hidden behind the return air vents in your home. They should be checked and replaced according to the recommended guidelines of the manufacturer. Generally, this means replacing them anywhere from every month to every few months, depending on what kind of air filter it is and its size.
Another task to get into the habit of doing is clearing debris and anything that could mess with the air conditioner from around the outdoor unit such as leaves, tarps, or toys. Whatever type of air conditioning system you have, some of your components are located outdoors, and for that reason, they are subject to much different environmental conditions. Dirt, dust and debris inside the housing should be cleaned by a professional, but make sure that you keep the surrounding area clear of debris that can get in the way of the refrigerant cycle.
If something isn’t quite working right with the power that the air conditioner is receiving, it’s worth giving it a look before calling a professional sometimes. Sometimes a little intelligence and precaution on your part may help your air conditioning unit to avoid common problems. Whenever your unit shows a sharp power deflection, simply check the source of power. Is the AC unit plugged in properly? Is the thermostat kept at the correct setting? Pay a visit to the fuse box to check whether the fuses have not been flipped. Check to see if there is ice on the coil, pipes or cooling unit. Air conditioners can freeze up if there is insufficient air flow. If you notice ice, turn off the AC but set it so that the fan is running and let it sit until it is completely thawed. Replace the air filter and check the outside unit to be sure nothing is restricting air flow.
The comprehensive user manual which came with the AC unit should always be kept handy. Most people simply lose the manual in an unknown corner of the house or throw it out carelessly. Make sure you’re not like most people if you want to minimize the need for AC repairs.
Perhaps the best way to prevent the need for costly repairs in the future when it comes to your air conditioning unit is to sign up for a preventative maintenance plan with an Austin AC repair company that you trust. A bi-monthly preventative maintenance and tune up schedule is ideal. This will allow a trained professional to come by and do all the regular little maintenance tasks that can be done to keep your central air conditioning system working at full capacity. This will lower the chance of needing repair and keep your AC unit as energy efficient as possible, saving you money on both fronts.
One great thing about preventive maintenance checkups is that repairs can be stopped before they start. The best way to minimize the need for AC repairs is to catch problems before they become problems. For example, a bolt might just be loose in the spring, and need tightening. But, when you skip maintenance, that bolt spends the summer rattling loose, until it eventually comes off completely and hits the fan, causing major damage.
Some of the things that a certified technician will do during a scheduled routine maintenance check and tune up are cleaning the coils in the outdoor unit, refilling refrigerant, and fixing leaks in the ducts. All this and more can be done on a bi-monthly basis with a standard preventative maintenance plan. This will be to your benefit both in the way it will make your air conditioning as high functioning as possible and in the way it will minimize the chance that costly repairs will be needed in the future.
Air Conditioning Repair in Austin with AC Express
Austin air conditioning is the area of expertise of AC Express. Whether you’re in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Kyle, or Hutto, when you need Austin AC repairs AC Express can give service that meets the highest standards of performance, punctuality, and professionalism.
The goal is to need AC repair as little as possible, and AC Express can help with that as well. Sign up for a tune up or a preventative maintenance plan with us and you’ll see a marked increase in the performance of your air conditioner as well as a decreased risk of the need to repair your machine. So, if you’d like to schedule a tune up or you’re in need of AC repair, call today!
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