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 heat.
To make sure you don't lose your cool once the weather condition 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 main air conditioners. They highlighted 8 issues to fix now. Plus, you'll discover our list of top ac system for small, medium, and large rooms, below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window systems and main Air Conditioner systems, and-- we're delighted 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 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 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 brand-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 alter your filters regularly. "When we get calls about central air units that aren't working well, 9 times out of 10 it's due to the fact that of an unclean filter," states Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & A/c in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Inside?
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 throughout the day to obstruct the sun and avoid it from heating 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 needed.
" A lot of new window units feature insulation panels to position over the plastic adjustable side panels," says Chris Regan, CR's senior ac system tester. "But to optimize performance, you'll still require to use weather 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 cycling on and off. These noises are normal. However if you hear a vibrating sound, it might suggest that your system was installed improperly. Make certain it's sitting securely in the window and review the installation instructions in your owner's manual to confirm that no steps were missed.
Central Air Conditioning Checklist
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a wise or programmable thermostat, you can more easily control the temperature in your home so that it's comfortable when you're there and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature seems off, ensure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunshine, which might trigger it to register the wrong temperature.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air cooling and heating system, routinely vacuum the signs up to get rid of any dust accumulation. Make sure that furniture and other items aren't obstructing the air flow through your signs up.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outdoor compressor for central air conditioning needs sufficient air flow to work properly, so make sure there's at least 2 to 3 feet of space between the compressor and any plants or structures. There must likewise be 5 feet of clearance in between the top of the system and any trees above.
8. Did You read more Remember the Annual Checkup? An evaluation by an A/C (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technician can catch any major problems prior to they get even worse and leave you hot and troubled. The technician will check all the moving parts, as well as the refrigerant, and recharge the system if needed.
Required a New Air Conditioner?
If your space air conditioning unit is beyond repair, you can find one that did well in our tests for as low as around $200 for a little unit and upwards of $800 for a large one. Ensure you match the size of the ac system to the room it's indicated to cool. Below, we list models in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioner rankings.