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, listed below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window units and central AC systems, and-- we enjoy to report-- it's the easiest to repair. Here are 8 concerns to ask that will assist you keep your A/C at peak efficiency all summer season long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which kind of a/c unit you have, a stopped up filter restricts airflow, decreasing efficiency and reducing the capability to successfully cool the air. If you have not cleaned up the filter in your window or portable a/c unit recently, make sure you do and then check it occasionally. For main A/C 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 pets, you will need to alter your filters more frequently. "When we get calls about main air systems that aren't working well, nine times out of 10 it's because of a dirty filter," states Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & Cooling in Cleveland.
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2. Is It Too Sunny Inside?
If your window Air Conditioning is in a window that gets direct sunshine in the heat of the day, it'll need to work more difficult to cool your space. If you have a choice, move it to a shadier area. If not, keep your Find out more tones and drapes drawn throughout the day to block the sun and avoid it from warming up your home.
3. Is Warm Air Leaking In? Inspect the seals around your window AC to make sure hot air isn't getting in (or cold air isn't permeating out). Reseal around your system with weather stripping if necessary.
" The majority of brand-new window units come with insulation panels to place over the plastic adjustable side panels," states Chris Regan, CR's senior a/c tester. "But to make the most of efficiency, you'll still require to utilize weather stripping around the perimeter of the system. And constantly use the manufacturer's setup and security hardware."
4. Is Your Window Air Conditioning Vibrating? Air conditioning unit make a lot of sound, including from the whir of the fan and the sound of the compressor biking on and off. These sounds are typical. But if you hear a vibrating sound, it might imply that your unit was set up improperly. Make sure it's sitting securely in the window and examine the setup instructions in your owner's handbook to validate that no steps were missed.
Central Air Conditioner List
5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a wise or programmable thermostat, you can more easily manage the temperature in your house so that it's comfy when you exist and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature seems off, make certain the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunlight, which may trigger 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 get rid of any dust accumulation. Make sure that furnishings and other items aren't blocking the air flow 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 ought to also be 5 feet of clearance in between the top of the unit and any trees above.
8. Did You Remember the Yearly Checkup? An inspection by an A/C (heating, ventilation, and a/c) technician can capture any major problems 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 A/C?
If your room air conditioning system is beyond repair, you can find one that succeeded in our tests for as low as around $200 for a little system and upwards of $800 for a large one. Make certain you match the size of the ac system to the room it's indicated to cool. Below, we note models in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioning system scores.