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, 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 repair. Here are 8 concerns to ask that will assist you keep your A/C at peak efficiency all summertime long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of ac system you have, a blocked filter restricts airflow, decreasing efficiency and lowering the capability to successfully cool the air. If you have not cleaned up the filter in your window or portable a/c unit recently, make sure you do and then check it occasionally. For main A/C systems, inspect the filter producer's recommendation for when to swap in a new one. In CR's tests, filters last anywhere from 3 to 12 months.
Simply bear in mind that if your system is running constantly or if you have family pets, 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 dirty 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 A/C is in a window that gets direct sunlight in the heat of the day, it'll have to work more difficult to cool your area. If you have a choice, move it to a shadier spot. If not, keep your shades and drapes drawn throughout the day to obstruct the sun and prevent it from warming up your home.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Examine the seals around your window A/C to ensure hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't seeping out). Reseal around your unit with weather condition ac check Humble removing if required.
" Many new window systems feature insulation panels to put over the plastic adjustable side panels," says Chris Regan, CR's senior air conditioning unit tester. "However to optimize effectiveness, you'll still need to use weather condition removing around the boundary of the unit. And always utilize the producer's installation and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioner Vibrating? A/c make lots of noise, including from the whir of the fan and the noise of the compressor biking on and off. These noises are regular. However if you hear a vibrating noise, it may suggest that your system was installed incorrectly. Make certain it's sitting firmly in the window and evaluate the installation guidelines in your owner's handbook to verify that no steps were missed out on.
Central A/C Checklist
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a smart or programmable thermostat, you can more quickly control the temperature in your house so that it's comfy when you're there and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature appears off, ensure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunlight, which might trigger it to register the incorrect temperature level.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air cooling and heating system, regularly vacuum the signs up to eliminate any dust buildup. Make certain that furnishings and other items aren't blocking the air flow through your registers.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outdoor compressor for central air conditioning 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 Annual Checkup? An examination by a HEATING AND COOLING (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) professional can capture any serious issues prior to they become worse 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 unit and upwards of $800 for a large one. Make certain you match the size of the ac system to the room it's indicated to cool. Below, we note models in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioning system scores.