Like any home appliance, air conditioners need a little TLC to deliver optimal performance. It's the ACs 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 heats up, we asked the specialists at Customer Reports and air conditioning system pros to recognize the most typical issues that emerge with window and main air conditioners. They highlighted 8 issues to fix now. Plus, you'll discover our list of leading a/c unit for small, medium, and large rooms, below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window systems and main Air Conditioner systems, and-- we enjoy to report-- it's the most convenient to repair. Here are 8 questions to ask that will help you keep your Air Conditioning at peak performance all summer long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of air conditioner you have, a clogged up filter limits air flow, reducing effectiveness and decreasing the ability to effectively cool the air. If you haven't cleaned the filter in your window or portable air conditioning system just recently, make certain you do and after that inspect it regularly. For central AC systems, check the filter maker's suggestion for when to switch in a new one. In CR's tests, filters last anywhere from 3 to 12 months.
Simply 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 main air systems that aren't working well, 9 times out of 10 it's since of a dirty filter," says 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 tones and drapes drawn throughout the day to block the sun and prevent it from warming up your home.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Inspect the seals around your window Air Conditioning to make sure hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't seeping out). Reseal around your system with weather condition stripping if necessary.
" Most brand-new window systems include insulation panels to place over the plastic adjustable side panels," says Chris Regan, CR's senior air conditioning system tester. "However to take full advantage of effectiveness, you'll still need to utilize weather condition stripping around the perimeter of the system. And constantly use the manufacturer's installation and security hardware."
4. Is Your Window A/C Vibrating? Ac system 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 typical. But if you hear a vibrating noise, it might indicate that your unit was installed improperly. Ensure Click here for more info it's sitting securely in the window and review 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 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 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 conditioning 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 examination by an A/C (heating, ventilation, and a/c) technician can capture any major issues prior to they get worse and leave you hot and troubled. The service technician will check all the moving parts, along with the refrigerant, and charge the system if necessary.
Required a New Air Conditioning?
If your room a/c is beyond repair, you can find one that succeeded in our tests for as little as around $200 for a little unit and upwards of $800 for a large one. Make certain you match the size of the ac system 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 discover more in our full a/c scores.