During the dead of summer, the last thing you want to deal with is a problematic air conditioning system. Although many folks are quick to point out that every mechanical device will eventually fail, the fact of the matter is that user error can play a role in air conditioning failures. Here are three air conditioning problems you may have caused and how to prevent issues in the future.
- High Energy Bills
Furniture placement can make or break a room while also impacting your HVAC system. While a well-placed sofa and entertainment center can draw people in and create the ideal space for entertaining, blocking off air registers or warm air returns could make your AC unit work harder than it needs to — driving up your monthly power bill.
Your HVAC system is carefully planned and balanced to return warm air to the center of the unit. If furniture blocks air return vents, warm air can’t enter the system like it should, making it harder for your unit to properly cool air. The result is a home that feels hot and muggy, even though the system runs frequently.
To prevent these kinds of issues, never place large area rugs over floor registers, and keep furniture away from floor vents. If you have air vents or returns on the walls, don’t push furniture against the perimeters of the room. Be mindful of vent placement before you rearrange furniture or make renovations to your home to prevent future problems.
- A System That Runs Continuously
To save money on heating and cooling, some homeowners choose to close doors to unused rooms or to seal off the air ducts in unused spaces entirely. Although this concept might seem like a simple way to move more air towards the rooms in your home you actually use, it can drive up energy costs.
When you close a door in an unused room, air continues to fill the space, putting the room under pressure. As air escapes under the door and around the window sills, it is sucked towards the air handler, which has to work harder to pull in the air. In fact, closing doors can increase the volume of air being drawn by 300% to 900%, putting a significant amount of strain on your air conditioner.
Closing air vents creates similar issues, although the pressure buildup occurs on the inside of your ductwork. Added pressure can create pinhole leaks in your ductwork, allowing air to escape within your walls. Closed ducts also create hot spots in your home, which can cause your thermostat to incorrectly gauge interior temperatures and prompt your system to run continuously.
If you have noticed that your air conditioner runs frequently but doesn’t seem to cool your home, your indoor climate could be out of balance. Go through your home and checked for closed vents, and leave doors to unused spaces open.
- Frozen Outdoor Unit
Few things are more maddening than noticing your home is hot and muggy, only to go outdoors to find an AC unit that has completely frozen over. Unfortunately, if your home doesn’t have adequate airflow, the refrigerant in your air conditioner’s lines could become cold enough to develop ice crystals and stop flowing altogether.
The most common cause of frozen outdoor air conditioning units is failing to change the indoor air filter. When this filter becomes clogged, the system can’t move the hot air in your home like it should, which makes ice crystals form in refrigerant lines.
To prevent problems, check your home’s air filter regularly for dirt and grime buildup. Most air filters need to be replaced once every 30-60 days, or whenever they appear dirty.
If you struggle with your air conditioner, don’t wait another day. Here at Custom Comfort, we offer convenient online estimates and emergency service, making it easy for people to keep their homes safe and comfortable. Give us a call today to learn more.
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