Like any device, a/c unit require a little TLC to provide optimum efficiency. It's the Air conditioners that have not been kept in superior condition that tend to have a hard time most in heat.
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 conditioning conditioners. They highlighted eight issues to repair now. Plus, you'll discover our list of leading air conditioners for small, medium, and big spaces, listed below.
The No. 1 issue impacts both window systems and main Air Conditioning systems, and-- we're pleased to report-- it's the simplest to fix. Here are eight questions to ask that will help you keep your AC at peak efficiency all summer season long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of air conditioner you have, a clogged filter limits air flow, reducing effectiveness and minimizing the capability to efficiently cool the air. If you haven't cleaned the filter in your window or portable air conditioner recently, make certain you do and after that examine it regularly. For central Air Conditioning systems, inspect the filter producer's recommendation for when to swap in a 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 animals, you will need to change your filters regularly. "When we get calls about central air conditioning systems that aren't working well, nine 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 A/C remains in a window that gets direct sunlight in the heat of the day, it'll have to work harder to cool your area. If you have an option, move it to a shadier spot. If not, keep your shades and curtains drawn throughout the day to obstruct the sun and avoid it from heating up your house.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Examine the seals around your window Air Conditioner to make certain hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't permeating out). Reseal around your system with weather stripping if essential.
" The majority of brand-new window units come with insulation panels to position over the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior a/c tester. "But to Go to this site make the most of efficiency, you'll still require to utilize weather stripping around the border of the system. And constantly utilize the producer's installation and security hardware."
4. Is Your Window A/C Vibrating? A/c unit make plenty of noise, consisting of from the whir of the fan and the noise of the compressor cycling on and off. These noises are regular. However if you hear a vibrating noise, it might suggest that your unit was installed improperly. Make certain it's sitting safely in the window and review the installation instructions 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 smart or programmable thermostat, you can more quickly manage 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 appears off, ensure the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunlight, which may trigger it to register the wrong temperature level.
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 outside 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 assessment by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) service technician can catch any serious issues before they worsen and leave you hot and troubled. The specialist will examine all the moving parts, in addition to the refrigerant, and recharge the system if essential.
Required a New AC?
If your space a/c unit is beyond repair, you can discover one that did well in our tests for as little as around $200 for a little unit and upwards of $800 for a big one. Make certain you match the size of the ac system to the room it's indicated to cool. Below, we note designs in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioning system scores.