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 specialists at Customer Reports and air conditioning system pros to recognize the most typical issues that emerge with window and main air conditioners. They highlighted 8 issues to fix now. Plus, you'll discover our list of leading a/c unit for small, medium, and large rooms, below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window systems and main Air Conditioner systems, and-- we enjoy to report-- it's the most convenient to repair. Here are 8 questions to ask that will help you keep your Air Conditioning at peak performance all summer long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of air conditioner you have, a clogged filter limits air flow, reducing effectiveness and minimizing the ability to effectively cool the air. If you haven't cleaned the filter in your window or portable air conditioner just recently, make certain you do and after that inspect it regularly. For central AC systems, check 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 keep in mind that if your system is running continuously or if you have family pets, you will require to change your filters more frequently. "When we get calls about central air conditioning units that aren't working well, 9 times out of 10 it's due to the fact that 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 is 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 removing if essential.
" A lot of new window units feature insulation panels to position over the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior ac system tester. "But to maximize performance, you'll still require to use weather removing around the border of the unit. And always utilize the maker's setup and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window AC Vibrating? Air conditioning system make a lot of noise, including from the whir of the fan and the noise of the compressor biking on and off. These noises are normal. However if you hear a vibrating sound, it may mean that your system was set up incorrectly. Make sure 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 objects aren't obstructing the air flow through your registers.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outside compressor for central air Additional hints conditioning needs appropriate 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 between the top of the system and any trees above.
8. Did You Keep In Mind the Annual Examination? An assessment by a HEATING AND COOLING (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) service technician can catch any serious issues before they become worse and leave you hot and troubled. The specialist will examine all the moving parts, in addition to the refrigerant, and recharge the system if essential.
Need a New AC?
If your space ac system is beyond repair, you can discover one that did well in our tests for just around $200 for a little unit and upwards of $800 for a big one. Ensure you match the size of the air conditioner to the space it's implied to cool. Listed below, we list models in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can find more in our complete ac system ratings.