Like any home appliance, air conditioning unit need a little TLC to deliver optimal performance. It's the Air conditionings that haven't been kept in top-notch condition that tend to struggle most in hot weather.
To ensure you don't lose your cool once the weather warms up, we asked the experts at Consumer Reports and air conditioning unit pros to identify the most common problems that crop up with window and central air conditioners. They highlighted eight issues to repair now. Plus, you'll discover our list of leading a/c for little, medium, and big spaces, below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window units and central AC systems, and-- we're happy to report-- it's the easiest to repair. Here are 8 concerns to ask that will assist you keep your A/C at peak efficiency all summertime long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of ac system you have, a blocked filter restricts airflow, reducing performance and lowering the capability to efficiently cool the air. If you haven't cleaned the filter in your window or portable air conditioning unit recently, make sure you do and after that examine it occasionally. For main Air Conditioning systems, inspect the filter manufacturer's recommendation for when to switch in a brand-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 require to change your filters regularly. "When we get calls about central air systems that aren't working well, 9 times out of 10 it's since of a filthy filter," says Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & Air Conditioning in Cleveland.
What Matters to You Matters to Us
We check countless items so you can produce your best home.
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 more difficult 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 Air Conditioner 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 units feature insulation panels to put over the plastic adjustable side panels," says Chris Regan, CR's senior air conditioning unit tester. "But to optimize performance, you'll still need 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 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 evaluate the installation guidelines in your owner's handbook to confirm that no steps were missed out on.
Central A/C Checklist
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a clever 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 level appears off, ensure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunlight, 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 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 conditioning needs appropriate air flow to work correctly, so make certain 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 unit 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 get 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.
Required a New Air Conditioning?
If your space a/c unit is beyond repair, you can discover one that did well in our tests Additional info for as little as around $200 for a little unit and upwards of $800 for a big one. Ensure you match the size of the air conditioning unit to the space it's indicated to cool. Below, we note models in each size that carried out well in CR's tests. You can find more in our full a/c scores.