Like any home appliance, air conditioners require a little TLC to provide ideal performance. It's the ACs that have not been kept in first-class condition that tend to struggle most in hot weather.
To make certain you don't lose your cool once the weather condition heats up, we asked the experts at Consumer Reports and air conditioning system pros to determine the most common issues that surface with window and central air conditioners. They highlighted eight issues to troubleshoot now. Plus, you'll find our list of leading a/c unit for small, medium, and big rooms, listed below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window systems and central Air Conditioning systems, and-- we more than happy to report-- it's the easiest to repair. Here are eight concerns to ask that will help you keep your Air Conditioner at peak efficiency all summer long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which kind of a/c unit you have, a blocked filter limits air flow, decreasing effectiveness and reducing the capability to effectively cool the air. If you have not cleaned up the filter in your window or portable ac system just recently, make sure you do and after that check it regularly. For central Air Conditioning systems, examine the filter maker's recommendation for when to switch 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 animals, you will need to change your filters more frequently. "When we get calls about central air systems that aren't working well, 9 times out of 10 it's since of a dirty filter," states Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & Air Conditioning in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Within?
If your window Air Conditioning remains in a window that gets direct sunlight in the heat of the day, it'll need to work harder to cool your area. If you have a choice, move it to a shadier area. If not, keep your shades and curtains drawn throughout the day to block the sun and avoid it from heating up your house.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Check the seals around your window A/C to make sure hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't leaking out). Reseal around your system with weather removing if necessary.
" Many brand-new window units feature insulation panels to place over the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior air conditioning unit tester. "However to maximize effectiveness, you'll still require to use weather removing around the perimeter of the system. And constantly use the producer's setup and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window A/C Vibrating? Air conditioning unit make lots of sound, including from the whir of the fan and the sound of the compressor biking on and off. These noises are typical. However if you hear a vibrating sound, it may indicate that your system was installed improperly. Make certain it's sitting securely in the window and evaluate the setup instructions in your owner's manual to verify that no actions were missed.
Central Air Conditioning List
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a smart or programmable thermostat, you can more easily control the temperature level in your house so that it's comfortable when you exist and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature level seems off, make sure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunshine, 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 registers to eliminate any dust accumulation. Make sure that furnishings and other things aren't blocking the air flow through your registers.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outdoor compressor for central air 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 unit and any trees above.
8. Did You Remember the Annual Examination? An examination by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) specialist can catch any severe issues prior to they become worse and leave you hot and bothered. The specialist will inspect all the moving parts, along with the refrigerant, and charge the system if necessary.
Need a New A/C?
If your space a/c is beyond repair work, you can find one that did well in our tests for as little as around $200 for a Additional info small system and upwards of $800 for a big one. Make certain you match the size of the air conditioner to the room it's implied to cool. Below, we note designs in each size that carried out well in CR's tests. You can find more in our complete a/c unit rankings.