Like any home appliance, air conditioners 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 heat.
To make sure 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 air conditioning system for little, medium, and big spaces, listed below.
The No. 1 issue affects both window units and central Air Conditioning systems, and-- we enjoy to report-- it's the easiest to fix. Here are eight concerns to ask that will assist you keep your Air Conditioner at peak efficiency all summer season long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which kind of a/c unit you have, a stopped up filter restricts airflow, decreasing efficiency and reducing the ability to successfully cool the air. If you have not cleaned up the filter in your window or portable a/c just recently, ensure you do and then check it periodically. For central Air Conditioner systems, examine the filter maker's suggestion for when to swap in a new one. In CR's tests, filters last anywhere from three to 12 months.
Just remember that if your system is running continuously 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 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 Air Conditioner 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 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 stripping if essential.
" A lot of new window units come with insulation panels to position over Discover more the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior a/c unit tester. "But to maximize efficiency, you'll still require to utilize weather stripping around the border of the system. And always use the maker's setup and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioning Vibrating? Air conditioners make a lot of sound, including from the whir of the fan and the sound of the compressor biking on and off. These sounds are typical. But if you hear a vibrating sound, it might imply that your unit was set up improperly. Ensure it's sitting securely in the window and examine the setup directions in your owner's manual to validate that no actions were missed.
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5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a wise or programmable thermostat, you can more easily manage 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 certain the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunshine, which may cause it to sign up the incorrect temperature.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air heating & cooling system, frequently 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 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 also be 5 feet of clearance between the top of the system and any trees above.
8. Did You Remember the Annual Examination? An evaluation by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) service technician can catch any severe problems 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 ac system 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 conditioner to the space it's implied to cool. Listed below, we list models in each size that carried out well in CR's tests. You can find more in our complete a/c unit ratings.