When your AC is not cooling efficiently, it can indicate many possible explanations:
- improper installation
- an old HVAC or air conditioning unit
- needed repairs
- dirty filters, vents, and/or coils
- an insufficiently insulated home
- sunny rooms
- heat-producing appliances
Some of these causes can be avoided by taking preventative measures. Having your air conditioning unit maintenance once a year, replacing your filter every 3 months, and blocking out sunlight to reduce heat buildup are just a few precautions that can make your AC efficient.
Is your AC not cooling efficiently? How do you know?
You need to know what to look for and how to find hard evidence. That’s why we have outlined three big red flags and what you can do to collect the data yourself.
1. Inconsistent Temperatures
Some air conditioning professionals will install an HVAC to focus on zones of the home instead of dispersing the cool air throughout your home. This setup reduces energy costs by avoiding some rooms. It’s up to you to determine if your HVAC system was installed to cool certain zones or create full coverage. You know your home best and might notice that rooms that were once comfortably chilled have become hot and humid.
When the air-conditioned rooms in your home are reading different temperatures, it can indicate a problem in the efficiency of your AC. You can test this yourself with a simple experiment.
Record the temperature of every air-conditioned room in your home.
To do this accurately, you must shut off all heat emanating appliances for at least 20 minutes and make sure that all windows and outside doors are sealed tight. Because direct sunlight can heat up anything it touches, it’s best to do this experiment at night, in the early morning, or during an overcast day when the sun is out of sight.
Run your air conditioner for at least 10 minutes before you begin.
When you are sure your AC has had a fair chance to cool your house, place the thermometer at the same level from the ground in each room for at least 5 minutes. Heat rises and reading the air temperature at varying heights may render erroneous results. To make this easy, bring a stool or chair to the center of every room and place the thermometer on it.
Write notes and record down the temperature of every room. If it’s significantly warmer in certain rooms, your AC unit is definitely running inefficiently. It might require maintenance or your air conditioner is over the hill and ready to be retired.
2. Spiked Energy Costs
If you notice that last year you spent a lot less on your electricity, it’s a big warning sign that your air conditioning isn’t cooling efficiently. But what if you have an old air conditioner, and you aren’t sure if your energy bill is higher than it should be?
Contact your electric company and ask. Most electric companies can compare your home’s energy consumption with the average amount that your neighbors use. This can help you decide if you are paying too much and need to have your air conditioner serviced or replaced.
3. Constantly Running Air Conditioner
If your AC is a workhorse humming all day and night just to keep your home cool, then it’s time to call in the professionals. An efficient air conditioning unit should maintain the temperature in the home. If the unit is struggling to maintain the temperature on the thermostat then it is time to test it.
You will need:
- 2 thermometers
- a new air handler filter
After replacing your furnace filter, tape one thermometer to the inside of the supply register or nearest supply air duct and tape the other thermometer to the inside of the return air duct. If the terminology confuses you, a supply vent pushes air into your home and a return vent gently draws air into the vents.
Turn on your air conditioning system by setting the thermostat below your normal preferred setting. You want it to run for at least 10 minutes straight. When time is up, retrieve your thermometers and record your temperatures. Subtract the smallest number from the largest one. The difference should be no less than 14 degrees. If it is, then you need to have your unit checked and serviced by a trained technician you trust!
Why Do I Need an Efficient AC?
An efficient AC is one that performs exactly as it should. When you live in Tampa, Florida, you need an air conditioning system that you can count on to keep you cool at the lowest energy cost possible. No matter what your budget may be, you welcome the idea of using less energy and saving money.
If your AC is not cooling efficiently and you live in the Tampa Bay area, get in touch with Action Air Conditioning. We want to help you achieve a comfortable atmosphere in your home again!