You love the comfort your air conditioner brings over the summer, but you may have a nagging feeling something isn’t quite right. Is there a problem that is costing you more in your utility bills? Is your AC blowing lukewarm air instead of cold air? Here are some big clues your system isn’t operating efficiently and should be serviced soon.
Low Airflow From Your Vents
Consider how much air is coming from your vents as your system runs. Does it seem like it’s less than you’re accustomed to feeling? In order for your system to fun efficiently, it must be able to both draw air in and push out air easily. Any restrictions to the airflow through the system destroys your system’s efficiency, costing more in both utilities and repairs.
Airflow restrictions may be as simple as an air filter or a dirty evaporator coil. However, it may also indicate problems with your circulating fan motor or low refrigerant in the system.
Dirty Air Filters
Speaking of air filters, you know your system is operating inefficiently if your air filters are dirty. They do an important job of removing contaminants from the air before they clog deeper parts of your system. However, that also means they will quickly create airflow restrictions if neglected for too long.
The common recommendation for the standard one-inch filter is to replace it about every 90 days. However, poor air quality may necessitate more frequent changes. On the other hand, if you have a thicker filter, you may not need to replace it as often.
Closed or Blocked Vents
Your vents play an important role in the efficiency of your air conditioner. The system creates high pressure at your output vents while creating low pressure at the return vent. This pressure differential creates the circulating air movement around your home.
If your vents are closed or blocked, the system cannot circulate air effectively. Without effective circulation throughout your home, you’ll have inconsistent cooling, which drives down efficiency.
Check to make sure that 20% or less of your vents are closed. While looking at your vents, be sure each one has at least a one-inch clearance above and around it.
No Thermostat Programs
There are times when no one is home or everyone is asleep. These are key times when you can adjust the thermostat setting up a few degrees to save on your cooling expenses.
If you aren’t using the programs available in your system, you are missing some efficiency savings. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates you can save about 10% on your annual energy bills by using these programs.
If you find setting the programs is too confusing, consider upgrading to a smart learning thermostat. This learns how you set your thermostat throughout each day and automatically creates the program.
A key part of maintaining your system’s operational efficiency is staying current on your annual maintenance. During a maintenance visit, a technician cleans the areas where airflow restrictions commonly occur. They also check your refrigerant level and test each component.
If you’ve neglected your annual maintenance, you can be assured your system is running less efficiently. If it has been more than a year since your last maintenance, you’re operating at a significant efficiency deficit.
Long Cycle Length
Pay attention to your AC cycle lengths. When running properly, the system should run for 15 to 20 minutes, and it should run two or three cycles per hour. If your system is running longer cycles or more than two or three per hour, you have an efficiency problem.
Condensation on Your Windows
Also, look at your windows during the hot and humid days. Is there condensation on the inside? As your air conditioner runs, moisture from the air condenses out and drips onto the drip pan below your unit.
Excess moisture inside, such as on the windows, indicates it is not dehumidifying the air effectively. This may indicate a dirty evaporator coil or possibly a low refrigerant level, both reducing your system’s efficiency.
Campbell Comfort Systems is synonymous with quality air conditioning service around West Deptford. People around the area have trusted our NATE-certified technicians for heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance and repair services. We’ve been serving the area since 1993. Call to schedule your air conditioning service with one of our friendly and professional technicians today.