Troubleshooting HVAC Cooling Issues
You might not think much about your air conditioning until something goes wrong with it. When this unsung hero of your home suddenly experiences a total failure, you know you need to get an A/C technician to come fix it immediately. Sometimes, however, an HVAC system can seem to function as it always does without producing anywhere near its normal cooling effects. What’s going on, and what can you do about it? Let’s look at some common symptoms, problems, and solutions.
Temperature Settings Make Your System Work Too Hard
When everyday temperatures get out of control, so can your electric bill. It only makes sense, then, to raise your thermostat a bit above comfortable levels when no one is at home, as a means of saving energy — right? Unfortunately, this practice may not be worth whatever money you might think you’re saving.
While you might come out ahead on this strategy when temperatures are warm but still manageable, hotter days and high thermostat settings can make your home feel like an oven by the time you get home. You then have to run the system extra-hard to get the ambient temperature back to a livable level. That extra work can cause premature wear and tear that reduces your system’s ability to do its job.
If you choose to raise your thermostat level while you’re out, turn it up only a couple of degrees higher than you’d find comfortable. You’ll still save some energy without also pushing your HVAC system to restore that comfort zone later.
Refrigerant Issues Keep Your Air From Cooling
Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This substance can change pressure rapidly, going from extremely hot to extremely cold as it goes through your system’s condenser and evaporator coils. Air moving over the chilled coils becomes cool and sheds moisture through condensation.
If your system is running low on refrigerant, it can’t perform this important cooling process satisfactorily, no matter how long it cycles. Modern refrigerants don’t wear out or “go bad,” but they leak through any holes or gaps that permit it to do so. If you can’t get cold air out of a hard-working air conditioner, ask your HVAC technician to check the refrigerant.
Dirty Coils Interfere With Essential Functions
Even with normal amounts of refrigerant running through them, your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils won’t operate at full efficiency if they’ve gotten dirty. These components depend on efficient heat transfer between their surfaces and the outside air. Dirt acts as a barrier that interferes with this heat transfer, resulting in incomplete cooling. Evaporator coils may even freeze up, making normal function impossible and allowing moisture to hang in your ambient air.
A Glitchy Thermostat Can’t Control Your Climate
Do the numbers on your thermostat tell the truth — and is your thermostat issuing the proper instructions to the rest of your HVAC system? Wiring problems, dust in the works, corrosion, loose terminals, screws, and other common problems can cause your thermostat to malfunction, which in turn may cause the HVAC system to short cycle (turning off too quickly after engaging to have much effect on temperature and humidity levels). Fortunately, your technician can replace faulty thermostat components relatively easily.
Air Leaks Deprive You of Your Air Conditioning
If all the components of your air conditioning system appear to be running normally, why does your home never seem to cool down? The answer may lie in unseen gaps or holes in your ductwork. If this closed system isn’t quite so closed as it was designed to be, all that cool air produced by your HVAC system may be flowing into your walls instead of your rooms. Have your ducts checked for any disconnection or damage that needs patching. Don’t forget to examine your home for any air leaks caused by defective weatherstripping or other gaps.
The Wrong A/C Size Can Doom You to Discomfort
Have you never felt satisfied with your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home? Maybe you have the wrong size of A/C unit installed. An overly-small air conditioner will never be able to cool your square footage adequately. An overly-large air conditioner will short cycle constantly, failing to live up to its capabilities. Ask your HVAC technician for recommendations on whether you need to right-size your HVAC system to suit your residence.
If you need expert help for your HVAC cooling problem, contact One Stop Heating and Cooling. We can discover the reason for your discomfort and make the necessary fixes to give you the powerful, efficient air conditioning you need!