Like any home appliance, air conditioners require a little TLC to deliver ideal performance. It's the ACs that haven't been kept in top-notch condition that tend to struggle most in hot weather.
To make sure you don't lose your cool once the weather warms up, we asked the experts at Consumer Reports and air conditioner pros to identify the most common problems that crop up with window and central air conditioners. They highlighted 8 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 enjoy 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, decreasing efficiency and decreasing the ability to efficiently cool the air. If you haven't cleaned up the filter in your window or portable air conditioner recently, make sure you do and then examine it occasionally. For main A/C systems, inspect the filter producer's recommendation for when to swap 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 pets, you will need to alter your filters more frequently. "When we get calls about central air conditioning systems that aren't working well, nine times out of 10 it's because of a dirty filter," states Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & Cooling in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Within?
If your window Air Conditioning is in a window that gets direct sunlight in the heat of the day, it'll need to work more difficult to cool your area. If you have a choice, move it to a shadier spot. If not, keep your shades and drapes drawn throughout the day to obstruct the sun and prevent it from heating up your home.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Examine the seals around your window A/C to ensure hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't seeping 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 ac system tester. "But to maximize performance, you'll still require to utilize weather stripping around the border of the system. And always use the manufacturer's setup and security hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioning Vibrating? Air conditioning unit make plenty of sound, consisting of from the whir of the fan and the sound of the compressor cycling on and off. These sounds are regular. However if you hear a vibrating noise, it may mean that your system was installed incorrectly. Make sure it's sitting firmly in the window and evaluate the installation instructions in your owner's handbook to validate that no steps were missed.
Central Air Conditioner List
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 seems off, make certain the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunshine, which may cause it to sign up the wrong temperature.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air heating & cooling system, routinely vacuum the registers to remove any dust accumulation. Ensure that furniture and other things aren't blocking the airflow through your signs up.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outdoor compressor for central air requires sufficient airflow to work properly, so ensure there's at least 2 to 3 feet of space in between the compressor and any plants or structures. There must also be 5 feet of clearance in 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 prior to they worsen 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 find 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 room it's meant to cool. Listed below, we list designs in each size follow this link that carried out well in CR's tests. You can find more in our complete ac system rankings.