JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – According to Consumer Reports, if your window or central air conditioner stops cooling like it used to, there are a few things you can do yourself while waiting for a repair company – that can fix the problem you are having.
Start by keeping the air filter clean.
“A dirty filter is a common problem for window and central ACs. It restricts airflow, which reduces the ability of the air conditioner to cool the room, ”said Chris Reagan, engineer with Consumer Reports.
If you just need to clean or replace it, no service is required – you can do it yourself:
Window AC Filters: Window AC units usually have a reusable filter that you need to gently vacuum and then wash with soap and water about once a month at peak times.
Central AC filter: If you have a central AC filter, refer to the manual to find out how often yours needs to be replaced. You will likely need to change your filters more often if you have pets, as their hair can clog the filters more quickly.
To maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner, Consumer Reports recommends that window ACs use gaskets around the unit. The weather strip prevents the cool air from escaping to the outside while the warm air from escaping to the outside.
The location can also affect a window AC. It has to work harder when it’s in a very sunny spot. Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day so that the sun doesn’t add extra heat to your home.
For your central air conditioner, make sure that the thermostat is not exposed to direct sunlight if the temperature deviates, as this can result in the wrong temperature being registered.
“You also want to be sure that your air conditioner has enough cooling condenser or power,” said Reagan. “Look at the room he’ll be in. If your device is too small for your space, it will never keep up, especially on those super-hot days.
On the other hand, if your device is too big, it can run too fast and not dry out the air and make your room a little humid. “
READ: Ceiling Fans Can Help You Feel Cool While Saving You Money
According to Consumer Reports, if you have a Windows AC and none of the quick fixes just mentioned work for you, here’s what you need to do:
Compare the cost of a repair visit to the cost of a brand new one.
Also consider age. If your window air conditioner is more than 8 years old, it is probably time to replace it.
According to Consumer Reports, the cost of a repair visit can be worthwhile for central ACs. In its member surveys, Consumer Reports found that the average price to repair a broken system was only $ 250. Compare that to installing a brand new central air conditioner, which can cost thousands of dollars.
All Consumer Reports materials copyright 2021 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a non-profit organization that does not accept advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this website. Further information is available at www.consumer.org.