Air conditioning is a must for lots of homes during the sweltering summer months in Calgary. However, the expenses associated with running an AC are substantial. Discover how routine air conditioning service can lower AC repair costs, and embrace energy-saving habits to help your unit run more efficiently. With these tips, you’ll enjoy a comfortable home this summer without draining your bank account.
What Routine AC Service Includes
Air conditioning maintenance is an inexpensive, predictable once-a-year cost that pays you back by decreasing repair costs and lengthening your unit’s life span. Here are some critical maintenance steps that help avoid air conditioner breakdowns:
- Change the air filter: A dirty filter slows down airflow and forces your air conditioner to work harder, utilizing more energy and increasing the risk of overheating. Replacing 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, promotes optimal airflow and efficiency.
- Clean the evaporator coil: The interior evaporator coil collects dirt and dust over time, reducing its ability to absorb heat. This can cause the refrigerant in the coil to freeze, blocking your air conditioner from running correctly. Cleaning the coil takes out this insulating layer and will help the refrigerant to do its job.
- Clean the condenser coil: The outdoor condenser coil releases heat soaked up by the refrigerant. If it’s caked in cobwebs, grass clippings and other debris, the heat transfer process is diminished. Cleaning the condenser coil improves the unit’s performance substantially, 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 reducing performance. Straightening the fins with a fin comb rearranges51 them to their original position to reestablish ideal airflow.
- Lubricate moving parts: Friction in the motor and other moving hardware generates heat and causes unnecessary wear and tear. Regular lubrication minimizes friction, ensuring smooth operation and decreasing the need for repairs.
- Monitor refrigerant levels: A low refrigerant charge is another answer for why your AC can freeze up, causing longer run times, comfort problems and unnecessary AC repairs. An HVAC specialist uses specialized tools to check and adjust refrigerant levels as needed to assure 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 AC unit operate faithfully all summer long:
- Turn the temperature up: Raising the temperature on the thermostat setting limits the wear and tear on your AC. Pick a comfortable temperature and avoid lowering the temperature.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat: When set correctly, a programmable thermostat helps regulate your home’s temperature more effectively, reducing the demand on your AC unit. An effective technique is to schedule setback periods of 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away or sleeping to save yourself on energy costs and further reduce wear and tear.
- Seal air leaks: Gaps and cracks around the edges of windows and doors allow warm, humid air indoors. Apply caulk and weatherstripping to avoid overburdening your air conditioning equipment.
- Put in additional insulation: An appropriate attic insulation level helps create reliable indoor temperatures and lessens 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.
- Block solar heat gain: The sun’s heat warms your home, increasing the demand on your AC system. Getting 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.
- Try using ceiling fans: The wind chill effect created by ceiling fans makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, which enables you to raise the thermostat setting without sacrificing comfort. Remember to turn 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, increased humidity levels might make your home feel cool but clammy, causing you to lower the temperature on your thermostat. A whole-house dehumidifier eliminates unwanted moisture, giving your air conditioning a much-needed break.
- Clear out your vents123: Closed or sealed off air vents throw off the balance of return and supply air, which can cause your air conditioning to break down. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your registers open, and make sure no furniture, curtains or rugs accidentally obstruct airflow. Enhance circulation further by keeping interior doors open as much as possible.
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient air conditioner: If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient design. In addition to increased efficiency, a new system is also far less likely to break down or have maintenance issues than an older unit, bringing down your repair fees in the long run.
Schedule Air Conditioning Repair in Calgary
By investing in regular air conditioning maintenance and implementing other recommended home-cooling habits, you’ll enjoy a comfortable interior with lower repair costs this summer. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning offers quality air conditioning tune-ups to optimize efficiency and lengthen your air conditioner’s life span. We can also upgrade your AC unit if yours is starting to have problems.