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Your air conditioner works really hard to keep your home cool throughout the summer by extracting heat from your living spaces and transferring it outside.

How do ACs Work?

An air conditioner consists of a condenser, often referred to as the outdoor unit, and an indoor unit. The indoor and outdoor units of your system together to cool and reduce humidity in rooms. The indoor unit cools the interiors, while the outdoor unit dissipates heat to the exteriors.

Follow these tips to prevent AC problems and keep your AC working properly.

Check and Change the Air Filter

AC filters can become clogged with dirt, dust and debris over time. A clogged filter does more harm than good. According to the US Department of Energy, a dirty filter can increase an AC’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Dirty/clogged filters are the number one cause of airflow problems that can force an AC to work harder and longer. To prevent performance and other problems, replace your AC’s filter at regular intervals. How often you should change your filter depends on various factors such as whether you have pets, type of air filter you are using, and household size.

Shade the Condenser

If you place your condenser in an area that receives direct sunlight, it can overheat. The hotter your condenser gets, the harder and longer it has to work. Set up some shade for your condenser. Make sure that it is unobstructed and keep any vegetation around the unit trimmed.

Check and Vacuum Vents Every Month

Dander, dust, dirt and debris can build up in AC vents clogging them. Vacuum and inspect your vents regularly and make sure they aren’t obstructed by items such as furniture, toys, wall hangings, curtains and holiday decor.

Weatherize Doors and Windows

Conditioned air can escape through gaps around your doors and windows. When this happens, your AC goes into overdrive to cool your living spaces. An overworked AC uses more electricity and can break down anytime. To prevent air loss through your windows, caulk or weatherstrip them. Consider replacing old doors and windows.

Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced Before Summer

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular AC maintenance. Periodic maintenance addresses current problems before they worsen and prevents potential AC issues. To avoid a last-minute rush and prepare your AC for summer, have a professional maintain it early or mid-spring. If you wait till peak season to have your AC serviced, you may end up paying more. Plus, your AC could break down unexpectedly and you may have to schedule emergency AC repair in Alexandria.

Look for a contractor who offers a bouquet of AC services in Manassas, not just repair services, and make sure they’re equipped to address multifaceted, complex AC problems.

Get AC Problems Addressed Immediately

Even if you had your AC serviced in the spring, its components can degrade due to normal wear and tear, become obstructed, or break down during the summer. Unaddressed AC problems can affect your system’s efficiency and cause serious damage to it. Move swiftly to address AC problems before they may worsen, leading to costly repairs.

Keep Your Thermostat Away From Heat Sources

Place your thermostat in an area that does not receive direct sunlight. You will also want to keep your thermostat away from heat-producing appliances and other heat sources. Check thermostat wiring regularly to make sure it isn’t frayed or damaged. Replace thermostat batteries at the beginning of summer to prevent malfunctions.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Your fans can help circulate cool air throughout your home allowing you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher. Set fan blades to rotate clockwise, so they direct the airflow downwards, preventing warmer air from rising, which can cause the AC to turn on.

AVS Heating and Air Conditioning is committed to helping families get the most out of their air conditioners. Our AC technicians bring years of hands-on experience maintaining, installing, and repairing different types of ACs and specialized knowledge to the table. To schedule AC maintenance, call 703-457-9028.