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5 Common Ways Homeowners Break Their ACs

Posted 07-15-14 in Air Conditioning

Air conditioning unit not workingSummertime in Atlanta means one thing for sure—everyone is using their air conditioner, often to capacity.

So it’s no surprise that summer is the time of year when we get the most requests for help with emergency air conditioning problems.

But getting your AC repaired in the heat of summer is not only expensive but it’s a big hassle.

To help you avoid this fate, we’ve compiled a list of the most common homeowner-caused AC breakdowns.

1) Forgetting to change your air filter

Your air filter needs to be changed regularly (or cleaned, if you have a washable filter). Leaving a dirty air filter in your AC system can have some serious consequences. The filter gets clogged, restricting airflow to your air conditioner and making it work much harder than it needs to. This increases your energy costs and can also lead to premature breakdown of your system.

What to do: If you have a basic fiberglass filter, change it every 30 days during summer. For other types of filters, follow the maunfacturer’s recommendations.

2) Ignoring strange noises coming from the AC

Another common cause of air conditioner breakdowns is ignoring the signs of a bigger problem.

For example, if your air conditioner is making a strange noise (buzzing, hissing, bubbling, clanking, screaming), it can be a sign that something is wrong—even if the AC seems to still be cooling your home.

By ignoring the noise, the problem persists and can lead to an even bigger problem later—like a complete breakdown of your system.

What to do: Don’t ignore the signs of a looming air conditioning problem. Call a professional immediately if your air conditioner is making strange noises or if you notice other oddities. Of course, not all problems are obvious, which is one reason the next point is important.

3) Disregarding regular maintenance

Did you know that annual AC maintenance is recommended by your local utility company, ENERGY STAR and the company that made your air conditioner? In fact, ignoring maintenance can void your warranty.

Yet, it’s not uncommon for homeowners in Atlanta to put off this regular task. This can lead to problems down the line and even contribute to a system breakdown.

What to do: Schedule your air conditioner maintenance as early in the summer as you can so to catch small problems before they turn into big ones.

4) Closing AC vents in unused rooms

While not as common as some of the other items on this list, closing air conditioning vents in unused rooms can lead to air conditioning problems, including breakdowns.

In short, closing vents causes an imbalance of pressure and can actually cost you more than it saves. Here’s more info on why closing vents isn’t a good idea.

What to do: Leave your vents opened—even in rooms that aren’t used regularly.

5) Letting your dogs get too close to your air conditioner

Dog urine eats away at the insides of your air conditioner. And it’s more common than you might think for a dog to “water” your AC. We’ve seen it more times than we’d like. The dog urine destroys the coils and fins of your condenser unit, causing major repairs.

What to do: Install a fence around the air conditioning unit to keep the dogs away. Just make sure the fence is at least 12 inches away from the sides of the AC. Having it too close can lower your air conditioner’s efficiency.

Also, if you catch your dog in the act, immediately rinse off your air conditioning unit with a hose.

Coolray is the Atlanta area’s leading air conditioning repair company. If you live in metro Atlanta and need help, you can schedule a repair or and we’d be happy to assist you.

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