4 signs your Air Conditioner may be working too hard!
June 5, 2014
There comes that time of year when the humidity level rises and the word sticky is used more than expected! It’s sticky outside and inside! “I feel sticky, oh so sticky, I feel sticky and witty and bright!” As Julie Andrews may have sung in West Side Story had there not been air conditioning. Or as the infamous Snoop Doggy Dog always says “sticky icky icky icky” which I am sure he is referring to the lack of air conditioning in a room or maybe he is subtly mentioning that someone should be servicing their air conditioners more often. Either or, the hot summer months are already upon us and here are some signs that your A/C may be working to hard or not performing up to speed.
- How old is your air conditioner? If you say, well how am I supposed to know that!?!? That my friend, is a good indication that the air conditioner is getting up there in age. On every air conditioner there should be a Identification or Name plate/sticker which will tell you how old your A/C is. Next time you are outside have a look or make note of it for the next time you mow the lawn. An air conditioner, if well maintained, can last you around 12 to 15 years. The older the unit, the more there is a chance for problems to occur and the performance of the unit is worse. I encourage you to maintain your air conditioner on a yearly basis or at least every two years. The cost to benefit ratio far outweighs lack of preventative maintenance.
- Have your utility bills be on the rise? The heating and cooling of your home, for the most part is the highest drain on your energy sources. Older HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment in poor condition will operate much less efficient, which will increase your utility bills. Keep in mind the weather of course, last year we had a hot summer, so your air conditioner may have been working harder than the current weather conditions. If you are concerned with a recent spike in energy bills, have your local energy auditor come out for a free inspection, no obligations assessment. Recent movements in technology have produced air conditioning units that are far more efficient than 10 years ago (higher SEER ratings) and they break down less overtime. The investment in an efficient and high quality product will reduce your energy costs and you will be able to see the payback (from new unit purchase) sometimes within 3 years.
- Common misconception. Most people believe that the air conditioner simply pumps cold air into your house and this is what provides you with your desired home comfort. This helps the process but what really provides the comfort in your home is that your air conditioners main duty is to actually “for a lack of a better word” suck the humidity from the inside and push it outside. If your air conditioner is on but you still feel that hot humid sticky feeling than your A/C is not doing its job. If you go outside on a hotter day while the air conditioning is on you should be able to hold your hand above the fan and feel warm air being blown out of your house. If the temperature of the air is not warm/humid/hot then the performance of your A/C could be compromised.
- Breakdowns and repairs. Depending again on the age and the other points raised in this blog, breakdowns and repairs could be a factor showing that your air conditioner is working too hard. If your A/C has been running smoothly with regular preventative maintenance checks and a problem arises, it probably makes sense to repair the problem. However, if your air conditioner which is a mechanical device similar in some cases to a car, has multiple ongoing breakdowns then you may want to consider a new air conditioner over future costly repairs. You take your car in for routine check ups and oil changes right? When do those routine check ups get too costly and you have to consider buying a new car? Would you ask your mechanic? Why not ask an honest, trustworthy HVAC Service Technician or Energy Auditor. At some point it just makes sense to scrap the car and look for a more reliable car. Reliability can go a long way in the air conditioner and car industry.
Before you forget about your air conditioner or furnace because they are playing hide and seek along the side of your house or in the basement… count to 5… and say “Come out, come out wherever you are!” Avoid an unnecessary hidden and most likely surprising expense and or replacement. Tag the sticky icky icky icky out of your home!
Related blog – Air Conditioner Service???
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