Ways You Can Help Minimize Repair Needs For Your AC
When it comes to HVAC maintenance, you’ll often hear prevention is key. That’s because regular maintenance can extend the life of an A/C unit by several years, saving homeowners hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars in the process. That said, nothing lasts forever. If you’re searching for an “air conditioner repair service near me,” Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air can help. Our pros are fully trained, licensed and insured to handle all your HVAC needs. Did your old unit finally give up the ghost? Before you Google “air conditioner replacement near me,” give our team a call at (703) 645-4527 or visit us online for same day service. Savvy homeowners know that keeping up with regular maintenance tasks can save money on monthly utility costs and help prevent major headaches down the line. Read on for 5 ways to minimize the need for A/C repairs.
Regular A/C Maintenance Tasks You Can Do At HomeAnnual maintenance from your local Reston, VA, HVAC company is by far the best way to prevent cooling problems. A trained technician will clean your unit and catch issues like broken or worn parts before they cause serious damage. There’s also plenty homeowners can—and should—do in between visits, including:
1. Change or Clean Air Filters Regularly.That wonderful, refreshing air you step into when entering a cooled space is filtered and maintained by the building’s HVAC unit. Air filters trap airborne contaminants like dust, dander, pet hair, pollen and other pollutants. Your HVAC unit’s air filters need to be replaced every 30–90 days if they are disposable or cleaned just as often if they are reusable. That’s because clogged air filters will no longer allow air to pass through them efficiently, making your unit work harder to deliver less. Dirty air filters can also lead to decreased indoor air quality, as they won’t be able to trap new particles. Standard HVAC filters can be purchased online or at your local home improvement store. Be sure to check your old filter for sizing specifications—this is typically printed somewhere on the frame of the filter. Those who live in dusty climates or have multiple pets in the home will likely need to replace air filters more frequently than general guidelines suggest. An HVAC professional can evaluate your home and lifestyle and make recommendations on how often to check and replace your air filters to keep your unit running at optimal levels.
2. Check Your ThermostatIt all starts with the thermostat. Homeowners may be surprised to learn how often elusive A/C problems find their humble beginnings in something as simple as low batteries, incorrect settings or a thermostat that’s installed in a problematic area, such as in direct sunlight or near an air vent. Another setting to check includes your thermostat fan setting. This can be set to “ON,” a condition where your unit’s fan runs constantly, whether your system is actively running a cooling cycle or not, or “AUTO,” a setting that only activates the fan when your unit kicks on. While keeping the fan on at all times can help distribute air evenly, it doubles wear and tear, shortening its lifespan. Keep this setting on AUTO to minimize strain and extend the life of your A/C fan.
3. Groom Pets RegularlyFor households where four-legged friends abound, grooming and brushing your fuzziest family members will go a long way toward reducing strain on your unit. Pet hair and dander can clog up air filters, return registers and air ducts fast. Pets tend to shed the most in the spring and fall as they prepare for temperature shifts. Some extra attention with a brush and a trip to the groomer will help keep everyone happy and healthy—including your A/C unit.
4. Seal Air LeaksEven the tiniest spaces around doors and windows can allow cooled air to escape outdoors. To prevent this, ensure these areas are properly caulked (sealed). It’s also worth having your air ducts inspected for any cracks or leaks. The last thing homeowners want is to pay for cooled air that ends up in the attic instead of the living room.
5. Keep Condenser Coils CleanAn A/C condenser coil has the all-important job of releasing the warm air that’s removed from a living space into the outdoors. As this part is housed outside of your home, it’s prone to getting covered in dust, dirt and other types of debris. A soiled condenser coil leads to reduced heat transfer and decreased cooling capacity. That means your unit needs to work harder and retains more heat while doing so. Luckily, homeowners can clean condenser coils themselves by carefully hosing down the outdoor unit—just be sure it’s completely turned off at the power source. It’s also important to trim back branches and shrubbery, ensuring a 2-ft clearance to allow for proper airflow.