How Routine Air Conditioning Service Can Reduce AC Repair Costs
Air conditioning is a must for many homes during the sweaty summer months in Birmingham. However, the costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how routine air conditioning service can lower 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 spending a lot.
What Routine AC Service Includes
Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable annual charge that pays you back by reducing repair costs and extending your unit’s life span. Here are some significant maintenance steps that help protect against air conditioner breakdowns:
- Replace the air filter: A dirty filter obstructs airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, using 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 appointment, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts excellent airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The indoor evaporator coil accumulates dirt and dust over time, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant inside of the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating 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 outdoor condenser coil emits heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is reduced. Cleaning the condenser coil increases the unit’s function 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, cutting down on the airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner's performance. Fixing the fins with a fin comb returns51 them to their original position to regain correct airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements creates heat and causes excessive wear and tear. Regular lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
- Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another reason why your AC can freeze up, producing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. A technician uses specific tools to assess and modify refrigerant levels as needed to verify proper performance and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Once-a-year maintenance is a key factor in reducing AC repair charges, but here are some other tips to help your air conditioner operate faithfully all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting curbs the wear and tear on your AC. Find a comfortable temperature and avoid changing it to a lower temperature.
- Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the pressure 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 yourself on energy costs and further diminish wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around the edges of windows and doors let warm, humid air inside. Use caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overloading your air conditioning equipment.
- Put in additional insulation: A correct attic insulation level encourages reliable indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can observe the attic floor or joists poking through the existing insulation, add more.
- Block solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Getting window coverings and pulling the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the danger 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 enables you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort. It’s a good idea to shut the fan off when you leave the room, as fans cool people, not spaces.
- Use a dehumidifier: For those who are located in a humid part of North America, high humidity levels can make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to turn down the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
- Make sure your vents are not obstructed123: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which might 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.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, think about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to enhanced efficiency, a new system is also less likely to break down or experience maintenance issues than an older unit, lowering your repair expenses in the long run.
Schedule HVAC Service in Birmingham
By investing in routine air conditioning maintenance and following other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with reduced repair costs this summer. Norrell Service Experts offers top-notch air conditioning tune-ups to maximize efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.