How to save money and avoid AC problems
Image credit https://unsplash.com/photos/53wcYH4IOig
When the weather gets warmer, it is a given that the air conditioners would run more frequently to keep your home comfortably cool. However, running the air conditioner continuously can make it vulnerable to Air Conditioning issues, which can eventually add to the AC repair costs.
Signs that your air conditioner is having mechanical issues
Recognizing problems with the air conditioning unit is the first step you can take to prevent them from escalating further. Some of the signs that are indicative of mechanical issues with your HVAC unit are as follows-
· Warm Air: Restricted airflow or problems with the compressor can cause warm air to blow from your air conditioner. One must check their thermostat, switch it to the cooling mode, and set the temperature as lower than the home’s current temperature. Identifying the problem will prevent it from causing any further damage to the compressor.
· Poor Airflow: When the airflow for your air conditioner is not sufficient, it can be indicative of some kind of blockage in the ducts. It could also be caused due to a broken motor and clogged air filter. Using an energy-recovery ventilator is one of the ways to prevent the problems associated with insufficient airflow. It exchanges the stale air with fresh air every time the HVAC system cycles.
· Frequent Cycles: While it is common for air conditioning units to go through their routine cooling cycles in the summers, they should not cycle on and off too frequently. This problem is usually resolved fairly quickly with a regular tune-up.
· High Humidity: High humidity inside the room is indicative that your cooling unit needs re-calibration. The AC usually moderates the moisture level in the room automatically and keeps it in a comfortable range.
· Water Leakage: An active leak or pooled water is a sign that your air conditioner is not running properly. These leaks could either be from the refrigerant or from the condensation it produces as it operates.
· Unusual Odors: Unpleasant odors from your air conditioning system can be indicative that it needs a tune-up. Problems associated with the odor usually result out of microbial growth in the ducts and can be easily addressed with a full cleaning session by technicians.
· Unusual Noises: Although low-level noises from the air conditioner are usual when they start up and shut down, sudden unusual noises can be indicative of certain problems with your system. Rattling or buzzing noises are usually associated with a loose part, but a grinding or whistling noise can be indicative of a serious problem. The latter can be addressed with a professional tune-up.
Factors leading to problems in the HVAC system
Following are some of the factors which lead to problems in your air conditioning unit-
· Not following the basic care instructions: Not keeping up with the basic care instructions that come with the air conditioner can eventually lead to bigger problems. The basic care includes checking coolant levels, cleaning and changing of filters, straightening of fins, and cleaning the coils.
· Forgoing professional inspections: To keep your air conditioner running smoothly, it is imperative that one must not skip the annual inspections which are done by a licensed professional. Professionals are adept at catching problems with the unit before they reach the emergency status. They also help in keeping your annual repair and maintenance costs minimal.
· Unclean AC filter and airways: Clean airways and filters are essential for the efficient functioning of the HVAC system. If any of the two is compromised due to the collection of dirt and grime, it can lead to malfunctions and an increase in emergency repair costs.
· Lack of Ventilation: The outdoor unit of the air conditioner requires proper ventilation and breathing space for producing proper airflow sans restrictions. Air restrictions in the form of unchecked vegetation can have a significant effect on the cooling properties of your air conditioning unit. It can also lead to premature wear and tear.
· Misuse of thermostat: The temperature and airflow in your room are managed with the help of a thermostat. There is a risk of creating an imbalance in the HVAC system if the thermostat is not set or used properly. The tampering with the thermostat will not only add to the repair costs but also cost you more money in the long run since it uses energy at a higher rate.
How to avoid AC repairs?
One of the best ways to avoid AC repairs is by keeping up with regular maintenance of the HVAC unit. This involves-
· Checking the ductwork: Checking and cleaning your ducts regularly ensures optimal airflow in your cooling system. Over time, ducts can get blocked with dirt and grime, which can cause strain on your air conditioning system. If not addressed timely, it can lead to further damage and system malfunction.
· Filter maintenance: It is important to change the filters of the HVAC unit every 30-90 days, as it builds up dirt over time and becomes clogged. The air filters are the most important part of your air conditioner as they keep the dust from free-flowing throughout your home while also protecting against duct blockage due to build-up.
· Keep up with regular maintenance: Getting your HVAC system serviced by a technician on a regular basis is one of the best ways to ensure the efficient running of your cooling unit. The trained professional inspects every component of the air conditioning unit. The technician not only detects all existing issues but also identifies potential problems which can eventually escalate into larger problems that could require costly repairs.