Air conditioning is essential for countless homes during the blistering summer months in Edmonton. However, the operating costs associated with running an AC are substantial. Know how routine air conditioning service can reduce AC repair costs, and embrace energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be able to appreciate a comfortable home this summer without emptying your wallet.
What Routine AC Service Entails
Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable annual expense that pays you back by shrinking repair costs and increasing your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help prevent air conditioner breakdowns:
- Replace the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes your air conditioner to work harder, using 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 service call, and every 30 to 90 days throughout the year, boosts excellent airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The in-house evaporator coil collects dirt and dust over time, limiting its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant within the coil to freeze, keeping your air conditioner from operating properly. Cleaning the coil takes away this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to perform this essential function.
- Clean the condenser coil: The exterior condenser coil emits heat absorbed by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is weakened. Cleaning the condenser coil boosts the unit’s efficiency 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, restricting airflow and negatively affecting your air conditioner's performance. Straightening the fins with a fin comb puts51 them to their original position to restore proper airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving elements creates heat and causes excessive wear and tear. Consistent lubrication diminishes friction, ensuring smooth operation and cutting down on the need for repairs.
- Examine refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another explanation for why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and avoidable AC repairs. A skilled Expert uses specific tools to check and change refrigerant levels as needed to verify proper function and prevent a mid-season breakdown.
Other Ways to Reduce AC Repair Costs
Annual maintenance is a key factor in lessening AC repair costs, but here are some other recommendations to help your air conditioning unit operate faithfully all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Increasing the thermostat setting reduces the wear and tear on your AC. Find a comfortable temperature and avoid setting the thermostat any lower.
- Install a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps control your home’s temperature more efficiently, reducing the demand on your AC unit. It's a good idea to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to conserve on energy costs and further diminish wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks near windows and doors allow warm, humid air into your home. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overworking your air conditioning unit.
- Install more insulation: A proper attic insulation level encourages consistent indoor temperatures and will reduce your AC’s workload. If you can spot the attic floor or joists poking through the insulation you already have in your home, add more.
- Prevent solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Putting in window coverings and closing the blinds or shades during the hottest times of the day blocks solar heat gain and lowers the chance of a mid-season breakdown.
- Run ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes your room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which allows you to raise the thermostat setting without surrendering comfort. Don’t forget to shut 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 United States, high humidity levels can easily make your home feel cool but clammy, motivating you to lower the temperature. A whole-house dehumidifier takes away excess moisture, giving your air conditioner a much-needed break.
- Clean your vents123: Closed or blocked air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your AC to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally block airflow. Boost circulation further by making sure doors between rooms are open as much as possible.
- Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient system. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also far less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, reducing your repair expenses in the long run.
Schedule AC Service in Edmonton
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. McKinley Heating Service Experts offers top-notch AC tune-ups to boost efficiency and extend your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is getting up there in age.