If you’ve turned on your central air conditioner only to find it isn’t cooling you down enough, Washington Energy Services has tips to help.
If you’ve turned on your central air conditioner only to find it isn’t cooling you down enough, Washington Energy Services has tips to help. These are for air conditioning systems, not heat pumps.
Many homeowners in the Northwest are getting central air conditioning for the increasingly long months of heat. When it gets hot, we get many AC service calls. Since we service all major brands of air conditioners, we get to see a variety of issues. One of the issues we see in the summer is from people who find their AC isn’t cooling their home to a low enough temperature for their liking. Washington Energy Services has these tips to share from our experience:
First, we will assume that the AC unit is actually able to run. If it is not running at all, you will need a service call by a trained air conditioning technician. If it’s just underwhelming you with its cooling, you may have one of the following conditions:
1. The Air Conditioner has not been recently serviced. Maintenance is recommended to ensure the unit is working properly and to manufacturer specifications. This is especially important in areas like Seattle where the AC is not used until July-Sept and then sits idle for 9 months. Leaves and debris can get into the unit in the offseason too`.
2. The air handler or furnace that sends the cool air through your house via the ducts may not be working properly. There could be dirty air filters as well as dirty coils.
3 The duct work may leak and need sealing and insulating—especially if the cold air return is in the attic. Duct leakage in older homes without duct sealing can go from 10%- 40% of total air lost in transit.
4. You may have insufficient duct work to send cool air everywhere in your house.
To ensure you get the maximum cooling, have an Air Conditioning technician make sure the AC system is charged correctly, the filters are clean, the temperature across the coil is a 20 degree drop, and duct leaks are sealed. Heat Pumps are typically sized for heating as the primary function and do not have this issue when they cool.
If you suspect you are just losing your cool because of airways in a drafty old house, the solution is to tighten up the seal of your home. That may involve air sealing, duct sealing, insulation and weather stripping among other solutions. The best way to determine what should be done is to have a home energy audit by a BPI certified contractor.
Washington Energy Services provides air conditioning systems and service, plus certified home energy audits for customers in Western Washington. Right now all air conditioning systems are 15% off through August 31st. Call 800-398-4663 for a free estimate.