Every summer we get calls from Atlanta homeowners who have accidentally killed their air conditioners.
The cause of death? Suffocation.
Air conditioners, like people, can suffocate when you restrict the airflow in or out of them. So how do homeowners suffocate their air conditioners? Well, there are 3 common ways.
Why this is bad: The outside unit’s job is to dump heat from your home to the outside air. And to do this efficiently, it needs a lot of air. A decorative cover (like the one below) restricts airflow to the air conditioner and can kill your AC’s compressor.
The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. If it dies and isn’t covered by warranty, the repair will be very expensive. In many cases, you’ll be better off replacing the whole outdoor unit.
A decorative AC cover that will kill your compressor. Do NOT buy! Photo source: Menards
How to fix it: Remove anything blocking airflow to your outdoor air conditioner unit, including bushes, overhanging tree branches or decorative covers.
Why this is bad: When your air filter gets too dirty, the dirt blocks airflow into the air conditioner. This makes your air conditioner work harder to distribute air. And that can cause problems like:
How to fix it: Change your air filter regularly. We recommend checking it every month and changing it whenever it looks dirty.
Notice how the filter on the right is looking dirty? Replace it now.
Why this is bad: Closing vents in your home is bad for the same reason that a dirty filter is bad: it makes your air conditioner work much harder than it should. And it leads to the same problems:
How to fix it: Keep your air vents open. And make sure none of them are blocked by furniture or drapes.
So that’s how you can prevent accidentally killing your air conditioner. But there’s more you can do to prevent a breakdown. Have a professional take a look at your air conditioner and get it ready for summer. Schedule an AC tune-up with Coolray.
Coolray is your Atlanta-area home comfort expert with specialists in heating, air conditioning, air quality and plumbing. Want more money-saving tidbits like this? Subscribe to our newsletter to get how-tos, money-saving resources, and more sent to your inbox every month.