Why Is My Air Conditioning System Becoming Inefficient?

As the season for air conditioning gets underway, make sure to take a close look at your electrical bills each month to see if the AC is maintaining its usual energy efficiency. If you notice bills rising steeply, you should call repair professionals to look into the problem. Below are some reasons that your AC might be losing its energy efficiency.

  • Clogged air filter: This is the most common reason for an AC to start losing energy efficiency. The filter in the air conditioner should be changed (or cleaned in the case of a permanent filter) once every 1–3 months. Check the filter at least monthly to see if it’s developed a heavy coating of dust, lint, and other debris.
  • Dirty coils: One of the basic steps during AC maintenance is to check the indoor and outdoor coils to see if they’ve developed dirt or grime. This is especially common for the outdoor unit. If the outdoor coil is dirty, the air conditioner will not be able to release sufficient heat to the outside, and this will cause the system’s energy efficiency to drop. But don’t attempt to clean the coil yourself: professionals must detach the coils first to clean them.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: If the thermostat in your home is miscalibrated, it will make the air conditioner turn on and off at the wrong times. This can mean poor comfort (if the system isn’t running often enough) or inflated bills (if it’s running too much).
  • Wear and tear on the motors: If the motors collect dust, or they run low on lubricant, the AC will strain harder and end up draining energy. Technicians will always check the motors during maintenance to see if they need lubrication or repairs.
  • Age: The drop in air conditioning efficiency and the rise in bills may be a simple case of an over-the-hill AC that simply can’t do its job as well as it once did. If the system is 15 year old or more, a drop in efficiency usually means you should have the unit replaced. Otherwise, you’ll keep paying for repairs with diminishing returns. Let an HVAC technicians advise you on the best way forward.

Comfort Central, Inc. provides professional air conditioning services in Arden, NC. We invest in doing the job right the first time!

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