Sometimes, the last thing in your mind when moving to a new home is the condition of the cooling system. Performing a performance assessment can catch issues before they are too expensive and complicated to fix. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate the AC in your new residence.
Assess the Air Conditioner’s Cooling Function
After moving to a new home, you can start by testing the cooling function of the air conditioner. The AC should be blowing cool air to regulate temperatures in the summer heat. First, lower the temperature settings on your thermostat by several degrees. The setting should be lower than the room’s ambient temperature. Keep an eye on the AC for 30 minutes to check if it is cooling the room.
Check the thermostat to confirm the temperature is dropping. An efficient AC can cool the house by 1 degree every 20 to 30 minutes. If it is taking longer, there could be a fault developing within your new cooling system.
A substandard installation could be the reason your AC is not cooling sufficiently. An undersized cooling system will overwork to meet the temperature demands of your home. The specialists at Honest Air Conditioning recommend a consultation for this kind of service.
Test the Outdoor Unit
The next step is to test if cool air is coming from the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit should be blowing warm air, which the system expels from your home. If the air from the condenser feels cold, your air conditioner could be faulty.
It is not unusual for the outdoor unit to freeze when temperatures rise over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Maricopa County. The most probable reason for the frost is a fault within the refrigerant system, causing refrigerant temperatures to drop.
Cold air from the outdoor unit could be due to a clogged air filter. It is advisable to change or clean the filter regularly to maximize airflow. If warm unconditioned air is not blowing through the coils, the tubes can accumulate frost.
Other culprits that cause freezing are dirty coils and refrigerant leaks. A thin layer of grime can act as an insulator between the warm conditioned air and the copper tubes. The temperature of the refrigerant drops, which could be the reason your outdoor unit is blowing cold air.
Low coolant levels can limit the system’s capacity to absorb enough heat energy. Scheduling maintenance is the surest way to ensure the refrigerant system is working efficiently. Maintenance technicians will check the fluid’s levels and recharge it if necessary.
Inspect the Ductwork and Vents
The air ducts and vents channel the warm air from the house through the air conditioner to dispel heat. Airflow obstructions in the vents will block unconditioned air and limit its cooling function. Therefore, the condition of the ductwork and vents could affect the system’s performance.
One common myth is that blocking the vents can reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner. However, a professional installation is customized to meet the unique comfort needs of your home. Closing off the vents in unused rooms will only overwork the AC and deteriorate components.
The vents can collect dust and spread allergens through the air ducts. If you spot corrosion on the registers or vents, it could be a sign of pollution. You can work with Honest Air Conditioning‘s experienced IAQ experts in Mesa to find the source of the contaminants.
Faulty ductwork can impact your home’s indoor air and deteriorate your air conditioner. Examine the ductwork for loose connections, gaps, and leaks. Signs of condensation may suggest the air ducts have inadequate insulation.
If the ductwork appears to be neglected, you should consider an inspection. An inspection will confirm if you need duct sealing or cleaning. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing ductwork leaks can reduce your utility bills by 20%.
Pay Attention to Unusual Sounds
The most recent AC models have dual-stage motors designed to produce unnoticeable sounds. Therefore, a noisy air conditioner often indicates an aging system or faulty components.
Fortunately, you can pinpoint the fault from the different noises coming from the AC. A screeching noise indicates the fan’s motor is defective. A damaged motor bearing or fan belt may also cause a high-pitched noise.
If you detect rattling noises, it is probably a foreign object causing obstructions in the compressor. The compressor distributes refrigerant to the various parts of the system. Banging noises from the AC signals the compressor is defective and needs a replacement.
But unfortunately, the design of the compressor doesn’t allow it to be disassembled. A certified HVAC technician should be the one to troubleshoot or replace the components.
Besides your cooling equipment, unusual noises could point to faults in other parts of the system. A clicking sound is a symptom of a malfunctioning thermostat. Since the thermostat is responsible for temperature regulation, a defective device can increase your home’s energy consumption.
Hissing is a symptom of leaking ductwork. If your air ducts are in perfect condition, the hissing could be a fault within the expansion valve or an incompatible filter replacement. Call our expert team to troubleshoot the issue and prevent further damage.
Address Odors and Moisture Problems
An inefficient AC can trigger moisture problems and spread unusual odors throughout the house. Microbial growth can start in the evaporator coils due to the damp conditions of the tubes. During its operation, the evaporator coils collect a lot of moisture and dust. The absence of light creates an ideal environment for microbes to thrive.
Regular AC tune-ups can prevent the spread of these microbes as well as viruses, fungus, and bacteria. Maintenance technicians employ industry-grade tools while deep cleaning the evaporator coils. You can damage the soft copper tubes using household cleaners or everyday tools, so don’t attempt this yourself.
If you or your loved ones have allergies, you may want to consider installing UV lights. Our team can guide you through various indoor air quality solutions to suit your home’s HVAC needs.
Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis
Replacing your AC system is probably the last thing you will want to do after moving into a new home. A gradual upgrade is often a more affordable option.
Nonetheless, you should carefully consider whether sticking with your current system is worth it. An air conditioner can have a lifespan of six to 12 years. While not all aging systems need replacing, a new installation could make more sense in the long run.
Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the value of a replacement. A new AC model has advanced features to improve the system’s energy efficiency. The most recent AC units can work with smart thermostats and integrate with your home automation applications.
Consult a professional for maintenance, troubleshooting, and new installations. Repairs and replacements done by anyone other than a licensed technician can void your equipment warranty. You could also injure yourself, your home, or the equipment.
Honest Air Conditioning is an A+ rated company in Mesa, committed to the highest standards of HVAC services. Our team consists of highly skilled Carrier Authorized Dealers, but we can fix virtually any model of AC or furnace. Whenever you need AC repairs, air purifiers, heat pumps, or thermostats, you can count on our team for outstanding services. Give us a call today for a free estimate or more information!