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 heat.
To ensure you don't lose your cool when the weather heats up, we asked the professionals at Consumer Reports and air conditioning system pros to determine the most common issues that appear with window and main air conditioners. They highlighted eight problems to repair now. Plus, you'll find our list of top air conditioning system for small, medium, and large spaces, below.
The No. 1 issue affects both window systems and central AC systems, and-- we enjoy to report-- it's the simplest to fix. Here are 8 questions to ask that will assist you keep your AC at peak efficiency all summer long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which kind of air conditioner you have, a stopped up filter restricts air flow, reducing efficiency and minimizing the ability to successfully cool the air. If you haven't cleaned up the filter in your window or portable air conditioning unit just recently, make sure you do and then examine it periodically. For main AC systems, inspect the filter maker's recommendation for when to swap in a brand-new one. In CR's tests, filters last anywhere from three to 12 months.
Just remember that if your system is running constantly or if you have family pets, you will need to alter your filters more frequently. "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 a filthy filter," states Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & A/c in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Within?
If your window AC 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 tones and curtains 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 AC to ensure hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't leaking out). Reseal around your system with weather stripping if needed.
" The majority of new window systems feature insulation panels to place over the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior air conditioning system tester. "But to take full advantage of performance, you'll still need to utilize weather condition stripping around the boundary of the system. And constantly use the producer's setup and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioning Vibrating? Air conditioning system make plenty of noise, consisting of from the whir of the fan and the noise of the compressor cycling on and off. These noises are regular. But if you hear a vibrating noise, it may suggest that your unit was installed improperly. Make certain it's sitting securely in the window and evaluate the setup guidelines in your owner's manual to confirm that no actions were missed out on.
Central AC Checklist
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a wise 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 seems off, make certain the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunshine, which may cause it to register the incorrect temperature level.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air heating & cooling system, regularly vacuum the registers to remove any dust accumulation. Ensure that furniture and other things aren't obstructing the airflow through your signs up.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outside compressor for central air requires appropriate airflow to work properly, so make certain there's at least 2 to 3 feet of space between the compressor and any plants or structures. There must also be 5 feet of clearance between the top of the system and any trees above.
8. Did You Remember the Yearly Examination? An evaluation by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) specialist can catch any severe problems before they get even worse and leave you hot and bothered. The professional will inspect all the moving parts, as well as the refrigerant, and charge the system if needed.
Need a New Air Conditioner?
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 system 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 performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in get more info our full air conditioning unit rankings.