Like any home appliance, air conditioners need a little TLC to deliver optimal performance. It's the ACs that haven't been kept in top-notch condition that tend to struggle most in hot weather.
To make sure you don't lose your cool once the weather warms up, we asked the experts at Consumer Reports and air conditioner pros to identify the most common problems that crop up with window and central air conditioning conditioners. They highlighted 8 issues to repair now. Plus, you'll discover our list of leading a/c for little, medium, and big spaces, listed below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window units and central AC systems, and-- we more than happy to report-- it's the easiest to fix. Here are 8 concerns to ask that will assist you keep your Air Conditioner at peak efficiency all summer season long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which kind of a/c unit you have, a stopped up filter restricts airflow, decreasing efficiency and reducing the ability to successfully cool the air. If you have not cleaned up the filter in your window or portable a/c just recently, ensure you do and then check it periodically. For central Air Conditioner systems, examine the filter maker's suggestion for when to switch in a new one. In CR's tests, filters last anywhere from three to 12 months.
Just remember that if your system is running continuously or if you have animals, you will need to change your filters more often. "When we get calls about central air conditioning systems that aren't working well, 9 times out of 10 it's since of a filthy filter," says Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & Air Conditioning in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Within?
If your window Air Conditioner remains in a window that gets direct sunshine in the heat of the day, it'll have to work harder to cool your area. If you have an option, move it to a shadier area. If not, keep your shades and curtains drawn during the day to obstruct the sun and avoid it from warming up your house.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Check the seals around your window Air Conditioner to make certain hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't leaking out). Reseal around your unit with weather stripping if essential.
" The majority of brand-new window units come with insulation panels to position over the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior a/c tester. "But to make the most of efficiency, you'll still require to utilize weather stripping around the perimeter of the system. And constantly use the manufacturer's setup and security hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioning Vibrating? Air conditioning unit make plenty of sound, consisting of from the whir of the fan and the sound of the compressor cycling on and off. These sounds are typical. But if you hear a vibrating noise, it might indicate that your unit was installed improperly. Ensure it's sitting safely in the window and review the setup directions in your owner's manual to confirm that no actions were missed out on.
Central Air Conditioning Checklist
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a clever or programmable thermostat, you can more quickly control the temperature level in your house so that it's comfortable when you're there and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature level appears off, make sure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunlight, which might cause it to register the incorrect temperature level.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, regularly vacuum the signs up to eliminate any dust buildup. Make certain that furnishings and other objects aren't obstructing the air flow through your registers.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outdoor compressor for main air needs adequate air flow to work correctly, so make sure there's at least 2 to 3 feet of area between the compressor and any plants or structures. There should likewise be 5 feet of clearance in between the top of the unit and any trees above.
8. Did You Keep In Mind the Yearly Checkup? An examination by a HEATING AND COOLING (heating, ventilation, and a/c) technician can capture any severe issues before they worsen and leave you hot and troubled. The specialist will check all the moving parts, along with the refrigerant, and recharge the system if necessary.
Required a New Air Conditioning?
If your room a/c is beyond repair, you can find one that succeeded in our tests for as little as around $200 for a little system and upwards of $800 for a large one. Make certain you match the size of the a/c unit to the room it's suggested to cool. Below, we note designs in each size that performed well read more in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioner rankings.