While running your home air conditioning system is essential for keeping your family nice and cool during the hot summer months, it also comes at a cost. If you’ve ever dealt with an unexpectedly high energy bill during the summertime, it’s likely that you’re worried about how much energy your air conditioning system is actually using. Making your system as energy efficient as possible can help save you a bundle on your cooling costs.
Bust Out the Thermometer
If you want to check the efficiency of your air conditioning system, you’re going to need to get a hand-held thermostat. You’ll want to put this thermostat on the supply register that delivers cold air to your home. It’s best to utilize the supply vent that is closest to your air conditioning system equipment. In most cases, this will be the room that is right above the equipment in the basement.
Once you get a reading for the supply vent, it’s time to put the thermometer on the return vent. Give it about five minutes of letting the thermometer sit on the return vent until you take a temperature reading. You’ll want to proceed to compare the temperature between the supply register and the return vent.
There should be about a 15-degree difference between both vents. If there isn’t much of a difference between the temperature of your return vent and your supply register, it’s an indication that your air conditioning system isn’t adequately producing cold air. The air being pushed out of the supply register should always be colder than the air that’s going into the return vent.
Are There Uneven Temperatures?
If you notice that some rooms of your home aren’t getting as cool as others, it’s an indication that your air conditioning system is not working efficiently. The first thing that you should check to remedy this issue is your vents. A common mistake that many homeowners make is blocking various vents throughout their homes.
Whenever the supply vent to a room gets blocked, it’s not going to be able to deliver that cool air that you want. You should always be very mindful of your vents and make sure that you don’t put any objects in front of them, like a couch or a plant.
Does Your Airflow Seem Reduced?
Another key indication that your air conditioning system’s efficiency is compromised is that the airflow throughout your home seems reduced. Instead of just noticing fluctuations in the temperature of some rooms, you notice an overall decrease in airflow in every room. When this happens, it’s time to check your air filter to see if it’s clogged.
In order for your air conditioning system to run efficiently, it needs to have a clean air filter. This air filter works to remove unwanted pollen, dust, and other debris from the air inside of your home. Whenever this filter becomes clogged up with debris, it will cause your air conditioning system to work much harder to force air through the blocked filter.
To check the state of your filter, you’ll want to remove it from its housing and hold it up to a light source to see if you can see through it. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time to replace it. It’s best to check your filter once a month to prevent this issue in the future.
Is It Warmer Than Usual?
If your home feels warmer than normal, it’s time to check out your condenser unit. This condenser unit is responsible for dispersing the warm air that is being extracted from your home. When your condenser unit is unable to do its job correctly, your home won’t get cool enough as your system won’t be able to get rid of your indoor heat effectively.
Any excess debris like leaves can block the vents of the condenser cover and prevent the blower inside of the condenser unit from working correctly. There should be a good 3 feet of space surrounding your entire condenser unit that is free from any obstructions. Again, checking this on a regular basis can help keep your air conditioning system operating as efficiently as possible.
If you’re still struggling with inadequate cooling after cleaning up your condenser unit, it’s time to look at the evaporator and the condenser coils. These coils are prone to accumulating dust buildup and debris. When too much accumulation happens, it makes it much harder for your air conditioning system to transfer heat. When there is an inability to transfer high amounts of heat out of your home, you’re going to be unable to keep your home at a nice cool level.
There are specific foaming agents that are recommended for this type of cleaning job. Just be sure to turn off your entire conditioning system before you clean these coils so that they can be cleaned safely and effectively. If cleaning the coils still has no effect on your issue, it’s likely a low refrigerant level, which needs to be handled by a professional.
Do You Hear Odd Noises?
When your air conditioning system is working efficiently, you should only hear the minimal sound of the motor running. When your system has problems, it will start to develop odd noises. Depending on the issue, you may hear many different types of sounds. Some of the most common are humming, buzzing, and clicking. If you hear noises, it’s time to call in an air conditioning professional to evaluate the issue further.
Is Your Unit Running All the Time?
One of the clearest signs of an inefficient AC is that the unit is constantly running. This may mean that the AC never stops, or it might mean that it’s constantly cycling on and off. Either way, the unit is struggling to keep your home at a specific temperature. In your house, you will probably find that you have a lot of temperature swings or that it never quite gets to the point of being cool when you have a constantly running air conditioner.
Have Your Electric Bills Increased?
If you are seeing an increase in your power bill, whether gradual or sudden, this is another sign that your HVAC unit is not efficient. When you look at this, make sure you are considering factors that can also increase your bill, like going from a cooler to hotter month and rate hikes from your power company. The best way to see this is to look at the bills for the same month over three to four years. You can check to make sure the average temperature was about the same (not unseasonably hot or cold) to account for some of the temperature swings. If you see a clear upward trend year after year that can’t be explained by something else, then your AC is probably declining in efficiency.
Leading AC Service
Hansen Heating & Air is here to assist all of our neighbors in Mobile with quality air conditioner services. We also provide heating, indoor air quality, and generator services. Just give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.