Like any home appliance, air conditioners need a little TLC to deliver optimal performance. It's the ACs that haven't been kept in top-notch condition that tend to struggle most in heat.
To make sure you don't lose your cool once the weather heats up, we asked the specialists at Customer Reports and air conditioning system pros to recognize the most typical issues that emerge with window and central air conditioning conditioners. They highlighted 8 issues to fix now. Plus, you'll discover our list of leading a/c unit for small, medium, and large rooms, below.
The No. 1 problem affects both window systems and main Air Conditioner systems, and-- we're delighted to report-- it's the most convenient to repair. Here are 8 questions to ask that will help you keep your Air Conditioning at peak performance all summertime long.
1. Is the Filter Dirty?
No matter which type of air conditioning unit you have, a clogged filter restricts air flow, 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 certain 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 during 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 Air Conditioner 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 a/c unit tester. "But to maximize performance, you'll still require to use weather stripping around the border of the system. And always use the maker's setup and safety hardware."
4. Is Your Window AC Vibrating? Air conditioning system make plenty of sound, consisting of from the whir of the fan and the sound of the compressor cycling on and off. These sounds are typical. But if you hear a vibrating noise, it might indicate that your unit was installed improperly. Ensure it's sitting securely in the window and examine the setup directions in your owner's manual to validate that no actions were missed.
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5. Is the Thermostat on the Right Setting?
With a wise or programmable thermostat, you can more easily manage the temperature level in your home so that it's comfortable when you exist and a bit warmer when you're not. If the temperature level seems off, make certain the thermostat isn't exposed to direct sunshine, which may cause it to sign up 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 accumulation. Ensure that furniture and other things aren't obstructing the airflow through your signs up.
7. Are Plants Crowding the Compressor?
The outside compressor for central air Get more information 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 must also be 5 feet of clearance between the top of the system and any trees above.
8. Did You Remember the Yearly Examination? An evaluation by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) specialist can catch any severe problems prior to 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 required.
Need a New A/C?
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 unit to the room it's suggested to cool. Below, we list designs in each size that performed well in CR's tests. You can discover more in our full air conditioner rankings.