Posted on: 14 October 2019Share
HVAC system failures can sometimes be dramatic. Failing compressors often produce bangs or other loud noises, and failing thermostats can cause everything from rapid system cycling to no cold air at all. Of course, not all issues are quite so obvious. If your air conditioning system seems to be working less efficiently than usual, there are a variety of possible causes. This checklist will help you to rule out simple solutions and get to the bottom of the problem.
Replace Your Filter
Dirty filters are blamed for a bevy of air conditioning woes, and for good reason. A clogged filter can reduce air filter and overtax your compressor, leading to inefficient cooling and reduced overall performance. Filters generally need to be changed every few months, so if you haven't replaced yours recently, then you are undoubtedly overdue. Change that old filter out and see if your AC performance improves. This simple maintenance step can solve a surprisingly large number of problems.
Check for Extra Loading
When your air conditioning system was originally installed, the contractors who performed the work sized the system based on the square footage of your home and the expected load. Proper load studies look at a broad range of factors, from heat generated by appliances to the amount of sunlight that each room receives throughout the day. Over time, changes to your home can create extra heat load that your air conditioning system may not be able to accommodate.
Are you leaving blinds open for longer than usual? Did you cut down a tree that was previously shading your home? Seemingly small decisions can have a significant impact on your AC's cooling ability. If you believe that excess heat load is the cause of the problem, consider shutting blinds during the brightest parts of the day or turning off appliances that generate a large amount of heat.
Evaluate Your Thermostat's Location
If you notice that some areas of your home are colder than others, the problem might be poor thermostat placement. Your thermostat has a temperature sensor that it uses to determine when to run your AC unit. If the location of your thermostat is cooler than other parts of your home, then it may shut off the system before the rest of your house has reached an appropriate temperature. A good test is to turn the thermostat temperature a bit lower than usual. If this seems to fix the problem, then it is likely that you will need to move your thermostat.
Call a Professional
If none of these straightforward solutions seem to solve your problem, then it's time to call in an HVAC professional to fully evaluate your system for air conditioning repair. Many issues with air conditioning systems can get worse over time, and a system that is running poorly can put a great deal of stress on the compressor. Dealing with problems as soon as you notice them is often the best way to prevent premature failure of expensive AC components.