On hot, swampy summer days, realizing that you need AC repair services can feel like a punch in the gut. When both the heat and humidity are up, fans just don’t cut it. Too much heat can also be dangerous for the young and elderly and if you depend on your AC for relief, you want it to be in good working order. Knowing reliable AC repair services to call can certainly take some of the frustration out of the entire affair, but there are also other measures you can take yourself, to ensure that the time you need to call an air conditioning repair company are few and far between. Furthermore, by following these steps, you may be able to save yourself a pretty penny on energy bills, which always tend to spike in the summer, thanks to air conditioning.
What Do I Need to Know About My AC?
For most of the two-thirds of households who own an AC, air conditioning is a seasonal piece of equipment. The rest of the year, AC units are stored in basements, closets, and other storage spots, accumulating dust. A shocking number of people won’t bother to clean their AC’s before using them again in the summer — or when they pack them away again for the winter. This can shorten the lifespan of your AC and make it less efficient.
Similarly, if you use your AC all year long without cleaning or maintaining it, you’re asking for trouble. Most filters need to be changed every one to three months, depending on usage, and regular maintenance can help catch budding problems before they truly become an issue and start costing you money in both repair and in your energy bills.
If you have an older air conditioner, it might be time to start thinking about replacing it and setting aside the funds to do so. On average, AC units last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. And, investing in a newer model, can help you save as much as 20% on your energy costs. Current AC models are more efficient — using 50% less energy than they did in 1990. A newer air conditioner will also help alleviate some of that anxiety of an older unit refusing to work as well.
What Makes a Good Air Conditioner?
Obviously, price and efficiency are huge factors. If you’re on a limited budget, buying the cheapest one on the market might be your initial instinct, but if it’s not terribly efficient, you may wind up spending more money in the long run on your energy bills.
How noisy is the AC? If you’re getting one for your bedroom, you may want one that’s quieter, for example, but noisy AC’s generally are distracting. Make sure you can install it easily and correctly and that you have easy access to the filter to keep it clean. And, an AC with a good warranty is also something to keep an eye out for.
Generally, you need 20 Btu (British thermal unit) per square foot of living area, but you should take into consideration how many people inhabit the space, how sunny or shady the room is, and what other appliances might be generating heat in that space before purchasing.
What Happens If I Do Need AC Repair Services?
Seek out a company that does HVAC services generally, not a handyman. Knowing that you have a skilled HVAC professional taking care of your problem will give you peace of mind that quality work is being done. Make sure that the AC repair services you’re looking at are licensed, certified, and insured and don’t be afraid to compare prices or service packages.
It’s always a good idea to talk to at least three different companies to see what their quotes look like, complete with a description of services and an estimated time frame. Talking to family, friends, or other acquaintances can also be helpful in getting a quality company that provided good work.
Making sure that your AC is well-maintained can forestall many issues, but having the number of a good AC repair company is also useful.