Professional Tips To Banish Those Air Conditioning Woes
As spring gets underway and the days get warmer, it’s time to switch the thermostat over to “cool” and let the air conditioner do its thing. But as outdoor temperatures rise, many homeowners may call for AC repair when their systems start acting up in the face of the higher workload.
When AC problems arise, it’s easy to assume the worst - but in many cases, the issue is simpler than it seems. With a little knowledge of what can cause common air conditioning problems - and a little luck - homeowners may be able to avoid costly repairs or even solve the problem on their own.
Replace the Air Filter
One common cause of AC performance issues is a dirty air filter. HVAC air filters are essential for capturing airborne particulates like dust, hair, pet dander, and other debris. But when enough of these pollutants collect on the filter media, it can dramatically restrict airflow and force the unit to work harder. This can result in higher energy costs, uneven or inadequate cooling throughout the home, and even AC breakdown or failure.
One way to tell if the filter is too dirty is by holding it up to alight. If little to no light shines through, it’s time to replace the filter. In general, it’s a good idea to get an air filter replacement (or wash the filter, if using a permanent/electrostatic model) every 3 months as a minimum. Homes with multiple pets, high dust levels, or allergy concerns may require more frequent filter changes.
Check the Thermostat for Issues
In some cases, air conditioner issues might not mean anything is wrong with the AC itself but may be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat. Suppose the house never seems to reach the correct temperature or turns on and off frequently (called short-cycling). In that case, it may indicate a dirty sensor, loose electrical connection, or that the thermostat has become unlevel (this last one only applies to older mechanical thermostats).
Alternatively, the thermostat may simply be without power due to dead batteries, a loose wire, or a tripped breaker. Homeowners can check the thermostat’s circuit breaker to see if that’s the problem. If not, they can turn off the breaker and then remove the front of the thermostat to inspect it for dust buildup, loose connections, or obvious damage. If it’s an older thermostat with a mercury bulb, they can attempt to re-level it using a carpenter’s level or simply upgrade to a newer digital thermostat.
Have the AC Maintained & Tuned Up Annually
Another possible reason for AC troubles is a lack of maintenance - the system may simply need a tune-up to continue performing as it should. As dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on air filters or inside thermostats, they can also build up inside the unit itself. Parts can get worn out, wires can come loose, lubrication on moving parts can be depleted, etc.
Annual routine AC maintenance is the best way to address these issues before they can cause serious damage to the unit, and early spring is the best time to do it. Regular maintenance will help ensure that the unit is performing as efficiently as possible and help mitigate the effects of wear and tear. Still, it also allows a professional to inspect the unit and catch any potential problems early.
About 4 Seasons Heating & Cooling
The family-owned and operated 4 Seasons Heating & Cooling has been Reno’s preferred HVAC service company. They offer unbeatable warranties, an up-front pricing structure, and 2-year complimentary maintenance on new installations. Their licensed, insured, background-checked, and drug-tested technicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year, so call 4 Seasons for air conditioner repair and maintenance in Reno, NV!