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 heats up, we asked the specialists at Customer Reports and air conditioning system pros to recognize the most typical issues that emerge with window and central air conditioning conditioners. They highlighted 8 issues to fix now. Plus, you'll discover our list of top 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 more than happy 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 conditioning system you have, a clogged up filter limits air flow, reducing effectiveness and decreasing the ability to effectively cool the air. If you haven't cleaned the filter in your window or portable air conditioning system 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 often. "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 A/C remains in a window that gets direct sunlight 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 spot. If not, keep your shades and curtains drawn throughout the day to obstruct the sun and prevent it from warming up your house.
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 leaking out). Reseal around your unit with weather condition removing if needed.
" 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. "But to optimize effectiveness, Additional hints you'll still need to use weather condition removing around the boundary of the unit. And constantly utilize the producer's installation and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioner Vibrating? A/c make lots of noise, consisting of from the whir of the fan and the noise of the compressor cycling 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 safely in the window and review the installation guidelines 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 sunshine, which might cause it to register the incorrect temperature.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, frequently vacuum the signs up to remove any dust accumulation. Ensure that furniture and other objects aren't obstructing the airflow through your registers.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outside compressor for central air needs appropriate airflow to work correctly, so make certain there's at least 2 to 3 feet of space between the compressor and any plants or structures. There need to likewise be 5 feet of clearance between the top of the system and any trees above.
8. Did You Remember the Annual Examination? An assessment by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) service technician can catch any severe issues before they worsen and leave you hot and bothered. The technician will examine all the moving parts, in addition to the refrigerant, and recharge the system if needed.
Need a New AC?
If your space air conditioning unit is beyond repair work, you can discover one that did well in our tests for just around $200 for a small unit and upwards of $800 for a big one. Make sure you match the size of the air conditioning system to the space it's meant to cool. Listed below, we list designs in each size that carried out well in CR's tests. You can find more in our complete ac system ratings.