The first day of spring has come and gone. Even though it may not feel like it yet, warmer weather is just around the corner!
It nearly goes without saying that your furnace is looking forward to a well-earned rest. Your air conditioner, on the other hand, is looking ahead into the busiest season of its whole year.
Are you feeling confident your A/C is up to the challenge?
While it may feel tempting to believe your air conditioner’s lengthy winter rest was sufficient to shake off any performance issues from last summer, unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
A better strategy is to learn the warning signs that indicate your air conditioner needs maintenance or repairs and take care of these minor issues before they become major.
A/C Maintenance Can Control Rising Cooling Costs
While spending money on utilities is not typically on anyone’s list of favorite things to do, at the same time, it sure can feel nice to stay comfy and cool inside as temperatures heat up.
But you don’t want to pay a premium to do so, either.
According to Natural Resources Canada, approximately three percent of the energy bill you pay each year is devoted to cooling your space. Knowing this can help you track cooling expenses over time. Increases can be a warning sign that all is not well with your air conditioner.
In fact, according to the Department of Energy, simply changing out the A/C filter monthly can reduce what you spend to run your air conditioner by up to 15 percent.
So imagine how much more efficient your air conditioner will be after being cleaned, tuned-up, lubricated and serviced!
7 Reasons You Are Paying More for Cooling
While air conditioning technology has delivered skyrocketing energy efficiency in recent years, the actual mechanics of how A/C systems work to deliver cool air has stayed consistent over time.
This means that if your cooling bills are increasing, chances are good one of these seven common problems may be to blame!
Refrigerant is that “magic ingredient” that keeps your air conditioner blowing cool air. When levels get low due to leaks or other causes, you may notice yourself cranking the A/C to stay cool.
Improper sensor position
This is particularly important for window unit and zoned A/C systems, which rely on sensors to adjust temperature cycles accordingly. If the sensor is pointing in the wrong direction, dirty or in the path of direct sunlight, the A/C unit may cycle more than is needed.
An improperly calibrated thermostat can cause your air conditioner to think it needs to run more than it really does to meet your cooling needs.
As your air conditioner cycles, it creates moisture (condensate) that then needs to be drained away from the unit. When the drain gets blocked, this often triggers a float switch that sends a warning signal to the unit itself to power down.
If your A/C unit frequently short-cycles (turns itself off prematurely) and you feel like you are always fighting to stay cool enough, a clogged drain may be the culprit.
Clogged air filter
The air filter operates much like your air conditioner’s “lungs.” Its job is to keep dirt, dust, debris and detritus from blowing into the interior components of the A/C unit and causing damage or blockage.
But over time, as the air filter traps more and more debris, it becomes clogged. At this point, it has to work harder and harder to push air through the filter and out into your home. This will run up your energy bill and lower cooling efficiency at the same time.
A series of breakers, fuses and electrical contacts keep critical components of the A/C unit from wearing out or overheating. If the electrical controls are not functioning properly, the blower motor or condenser fan motor can overheat and stop working, causing major repair needs.
All kinds of things can happen as ductwork ages. Ducts can begin to sag or even tear away from the connection points. Leaks and tears may occur as material degrades or unwelcome winter visitors like insects or small animals make their way inside.
Ducts can also fill up with debris over the years, acting like a clogged filter to slow down air flow. When debris backs up into the A/C unit, a major outage or fire hazard is possible.
A/C Maintenance Ensures You Pay Only for Cooling You Really Need
If your A/C unit is still new and under warranty, scheduling annual preventative maintenance can be a requirement for keeping your warranty active.
For an older unit, preventative maintenance can make the difference between controlling cooling costs and watching them skyrocket.
For a late-life A/C unit, maintenance can extend its useful life and delay the need for costly upgrades.
Here at Bi-Temp, our recommended safety inspection and preventative maintenance A/C service includes each of the following:
Refrigerant leak test, level check and refill (if necessary)
Inspection of all connections, fuses, breakers, thermostat, sensors, components
Inspection and cleaning of drainage pan and hose
Lubrication of all moving parts, fans, motors
Replacement or cleaning of filter (depending on filter type)
Thorough interior and exterior cleaning, including evaporator and condenser coils
Thermostat calibration and blower motor/cooling cycle efficiency test
Inspection of ductwork and repair recommendations as needed
Recommendation of minor repairs
Overall safety inspection of the unit, components and A/C operation
Get in Touch
Take advantage of our nifty spring offer: schedule your air conditioner inspection and tune-up service and we will install a 1-inch air filter at the time of service, absolutely FREE!
Give us a call at 613-967-1066 or visit us online.