3 Tips To Avoid AC Breakdowns This Summer

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You do everything you can to make your home a sanctuary for your family, which includes equipping it with the best heating and cooling system.

Today’s state-of-the-art units give you the luxury of taking a “set it and forget it” approach to temperature control, however, in order for your HVAC system to provide the comfort you expect, it needs some TLC, too.

Careful planning is one reason we’ve been in business for more than 25 years. No matter what your goals are—from paying for college and retirement to taking a family vacation—thorough research and strategic actions are critical for success.

The same is true for optimizing your comfort and indoor air quality at home and at work. For this article, we’re going to focus on how to stay cool this summer by caring for your AC unit before it breaks down.

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The goal here is to keep your family comfortable during the hot and humid days of summer. During these heat waves, air conditioners run day and night, and the units that have been neglected, fail. That’s when HVAC service providers’ phones ring off the hook with emergencies!

Not all breakdowns are avoidable—but many repairs are preventable. Based on quality data from more than 25 years of HVAC experience, we put together this easy-to-use checklist of tips and best practices for keeping your air conditioning unit running at peak performance this summer.

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1. Find a dependable HVAC installer and service provider. Unless you’re a heating and cooling expert, you need to develop a relationship with a company employing factory-trained technicians. Even if you know nothing more about your HVAC system other than setting the temperature, you can make the best choices about the care and maintenance of your unit, without any stress, when you trust your service provider. The best heating and cooling technicians will also address the root problems with your unit and not just the symptoms. For example, AC units don’t use up refrigerant. If your refrigerant charge is low, it could mean that there’s a leak somewhere. The best-rated techs will investigate where the refrigerant is leaking and fix it.

Plus, when you do have an emergency, you can immediately call a company you know to get service from a technician who knows your machine.

2. Do the no-cost preventative maintenance yourself. Whenever possible, the big, boxy exterior units are tucked behind bushes so they don’t take away from a building’s curb appeal. Out of sight is fine—just don’t forget about them! In the fall and winter, fallen leaves and debris can build up around the unit, and in the spring and summer, vegetation of all sorts can grow up and around it. In both cases, air intake can be inhibited or completely blocked, fans can get jammed and choked, and electrical wires and connections can become damaged. All these minor issues will eventually lead to more-costly repairs. Give your unit space to “breath” by regularly clearing away vegetation and debris.

While you’re there . . . do a basic visual inspection around the outside of the unit. Are there puddles near the unit on a dry day? When it runs, are there strange noises? Anything out of the ordinary may require a closer inspection by a professional HVAC tech. Call for a service appointment as soon as possible to avoid an emergency call later.

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3. Schedule preventative maintenance in the fall and spring. All too often, people take a chance with their heating and cooling systems and go year after year without paying for regular maintenance. It appears as if they’re saving money, but actually, they’re just setting themselves up for a big expense down the road. For example, according to Consumer Reports, you can expect to pay less than $100 for a new filter. A clogged filter can stress your unit and cause the compressor to fail, which can cost up to $2,000 or more.

The best HVAC service technicians don’t stop at changing the filter. Factory-trained technicians should perform a comprehensive inspection and testing regimen during scheduled maintenance visits.

During a typical checkup, a tech might:

  • Replace corroded wires and connections

  • Clean the coils and drain pan of any dirt and buildup

  • Calibrate the thermostat

  • Test switches, relays, motors, and fans

  • Check refrigerant levels and address any problems

By testing, cleaning, and adjusting the critical components of your unit, a reputable HVAC technician can prolong the life of your unit and keep your energy costs down.

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Plus, you’re always welcome to contact the trusted heating, cooling, and air quality experts at Total Temperature Control.

Whether you need 24-7 emergency service or a solution to improve your indoor comfort—at home and at work—call us at 781-224-2400 or submit a convenient contact form.