Top 6 tips on how to avoid emergency air conditioning repair
Northern California is unique weather-wise with its many microclimates and wildly ranging temperatures, especially in the summer. It’s not unusual within a 30-mile area to have daytime high temperatures ranging from mid-60s to the low 100s. No doubt, if you live in the hotter inland areas, you depend on your air conditioning to keep your home comfortable. Unfortunately, those scorching hot days can overload the AC – and that’s the most likely time for an equipment breakdown. HVAC contractors know, the phones will be ringing like crazy with calls for AC repairs.
But you can take steps to avoid unexpected, inconvenient, and costly repairs. Here’s a few tips:
Yes, an ounce of prevention IS worth a pound of cure! Be proactive and schedule a summer tune-up NOW! Getting your AC in tip-top shape will likely keep your system running smoothly even in the hottest weather AND you’ll avoid the panic, inconvenience and discomfort of a breakdown when you need your AC the most. Regular maintenance by a licensed HVAC company saves time and money in the long run because a well-maintained system uses less electricity, performs better and typically lasts 7-10 years longer than a neglected HVAC system.
#2 Replace the air filter
Regardless of the time of year, it’s extremely important to replace (or clean, in the case of re-useable) the air filter in your home’s HVAC system. Clean filters prevent critical AC components from being damaged. Some HVAC systems will even shutdown in the event of a dirty, clogged filter (and who needs that in a heatwave!) A clean filter can also reduce the energy usage of your air conditioner by up to 15%.
#3 Use a programmable thermostat
Many people think that turning your HVAC system off while you’re away from home during the day saves money – WRONG! Waiting until the late afternoon to turn on your AC causes the system to work extra hard to cool down a too-hot home – and chances are your home won’t cool down until the wee hours of the morning, if then. For optimal cooling and utility usage, set your thermostat around 78°F during the day and adjust the temperature down to your comfort range an hour or so before you return home. A programmable thermostat is a low-cost investment that allows you to do this automatically so your home will stay more comfortable and the system uses electricity more efficiently.
#4 Close blinds and drapes during the day
By keeping the blinds and curtains closed during the heat of the day, the sun’s radiant heat is kept outside and your AC can function better. Yes, it might be a little dark in your home but why pay for all that unnecessary, extra cooling expense?
#5 Schedule repairs immediately
It’s a rare occurrence that HVAC equipment fixes itself! A small amount of ice build-up or strange sounds coming from the AC may not seem like a big deal but such problems may indicate a bigger – and often more expensive — issue. Schedule a visit with your trusted HVAC professional right away if you see something wrong with your unit.
#6 Control debris & vegetation around outdoor units
Your outdoor AC unit needs a great deal of free air to perform its heat-removal process. Check regularly and remove any debris and/or vegetation around the unit so the system can work efficiently.