Like any device, ac system need a little TLC to deliver ideal performance. It's the A/cs that haven't been kept in first-class condition that tend to struggle most in heat.
To ensure you don't lose your cool when 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 a/c for little, medium, and big spaces, below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window units and central AC systems, and-- we're happy to report-- it's the most convenient to repair. Here are 8 concerns to ask that will assist you keep your A/C at peak performance all summertime long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of air conditioning unit you have, a blocked filter restricts airflow, reducing performance and minimizing the capability to efficiently cool the air. If you haven't cleaned the filter in your window or portable air conditioning unit recently, make sure you do and after that examine it regularly. For central Air Conditioning systems, check the filter manufacturer's recommendation for when to switch in a brand-new one. In CR's tests, filters last anywhere from 3 to 12 months.
Just keep in mind that if your system is running constantly or if you have pets, you will require to alter your filters regularly. "When we get calls about central air units that aren't working well, nine times out of 10 it's due to the fact that of an unclean filter," states Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & A/c in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Inside?
If your window AC remains in a window that gets direct sunshine in the heat of the day, it'll have to work harder to cool your space. If you have an option, move it to a shadier area. If not, keep your tones and curtains drawn throughout the day to obstruct the sun and avoid it from warming up your house.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Check the seals around your window AC 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 the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior ac system tester. "But to maximize performance, you'll still require to use weather removing around the border of the system. And always use the maker's setup and Go to this site safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window AC Vibrating? Air conditioning system make a lot of noise, including from the whir of the fan and the noise of the compressor biking on and off. These noises are normal. However if you hear a vibrating sound, it may mean that your system was set up incorrectly. Make certain it's sitting firmly in the window and evaluate the installation guidelines in your owner's handbook to verify that no steps were missed out on.
Central A/C Checklist
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a clever or programmable thermostat, you can more quickly control the temperature in your house so that it's comfy when you're there and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature level appears off, ensure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunlight, which might cause it to register the incorrect temperature.
6. Are the Registers Dirty or Blocked?
If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, frequently vacuum the signs up to remove any dust buildup. Make certain that furniture and other objects aren't obstructing the airflow through your registers.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outside compressor for central air conditioning needs 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) specialist can catch any severe problems before they get even worse 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 room air conditioner is beyond repair work, you can find one that succeeded in our tests for as low as around $200 for a small system and upwards of $800 for a large one. Make certain you match the size of the a/c to the room it's suggested to cool. Listed below, we list designs in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioner rankings.