No homeowner relishes the prospect of their air conditioning quitting on a 95-degree day. As the temperatures climb in the summer months, it can be easy to interpret any decrease in cooling in your home as a sign the A/C unit needs to be replaced. Fortunately, there are many causes for reduced cooling that don’t require full replacement and sometimes do not even require the help of an HVAC professional. If you feel that your air conditioning is not keeping up this summer, here are a few things to consider before you start thinking in terms of thousands of dollars.
Related read: 5 Signs Your Air Conditioning System Needs Repair
Check the Filter
Sometimes, a clogged air filter is the only thing keeping your A/C from performing at full capacity. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends filter replacement every three months for most systems. However, depending on your unique home environment, you may need to replace it more often. Take a look at your filter and, if it seems dirty, switch it out with a new one. Filters cost only a few dollars and you might be surprised at the difference it makes!
Check the Thermostat
Before jumping to the conclusion that your air conditioning unit is shot, look for simpler explanations. One common culprit is the thermostat. Sometimes, a dead battery in the thermostat is the entire cause of your cooling problems. If you see a blinking light on your thermostat, you’ve likely found it. In other instances, the thermostat may need to be replaced. Though this is pricier than a few batteries, it’s much less expensive than a new A/C unit.
Look for Obstructions
Check the vents around the outdoor unit. If they’re clogged with leaves or other debris, or if the unit was covered with a tarp for the winter and it wasn’t removed when the cooling season began, you’ve found the problem. Plants, deck materials, hoses and pets should be kept several feet away from your air conditioner unit outside.
Listen to the Outdoor Unit
You can easily find out if the blowers are working in your A/C unit by listening to it. Can you hear fans running? If they are not running, don’t assume you need to have the unit replaced. Call a certified HVAC repair service to determine if there is a minor problem, such as a bad electrical connection or switch that can be fixed relatively inexpensively.
Related read: Air Conditioner Troubleshooting
Think About Insulation
If your A/C unit seems to be working properly and your home is still much warmer than your thermostat setting, you could have insufficient insulation or windows. One of the clearest indications of inadequate insulation is that your home doesn’t get cool enough in the summer and doesn’t get warm enough in the winter. If you’re unsure about your insulation situation, call Home Comfort Experts to do an energy audit on your home and determine the best course of action. Our trained technicians can also determine if your ductwork needs re-routing. Often ducts were installed incorrectly when the home was built or an addition was added, causing some rooms to be of vastly different temperatures.
No homeowner should have to deal with sweltering summer temperatures inside their own home. If you feel your A/C is not keeping up with the heat, consider the above solutions or call us to do an inexpensive, but thorough, 20-point tune-up. An expert is always the best choice in diagnosing your system. If you have any questions about your home cooling, contact Home Comfort Experts for fast, efficient service in South Bend, Mishawaka, Fort Wayne and surrounding areas of Indiana and Michigan.