Most homeowners are enjoying their summer vacation, relaxing in their cool homes and then it happens. Their air-conditioning fails! Panic sets in: What should do you do, who do you call, how do you manage until the service technician arrives?
Christian Heating & Air Conditioning helps customers with these issues and more! Over 80% of the service calls we make are due to failure to do annual air-conditioning maintenance. Some other common problems are caused by older equipment that has failed completely or needs replacement. Often, understanding your home’s envelope and how it affects your air-conditioning system can help.
Common air-conditioning issues
The main goal of your air conditioner is to remove humidity and heat from your home. Here are a few helpful ideas to consider when your air conditioner might not be performing as well as it used to:
Protect your home from the heat
Closing the blinds and doors of your home helps limit the outside heat from entering your air-conditioned home. Tinting your windows and properly insulating your attic and basement will help reduce the amount of heat that your system has to remove.
Set the thermostat back only a few degrees
On the really hot and humid days, keeping your air conditioning system on longer helps maintain your home’s temperature more effectively. For example, if you shut off your system during the day or set its thermostat back, it will have to work harder to get to your desired temperature when you return home. Setting the thermostat back only 2 or 3 degrees and keeping the air fan circulating makes it easier for your system to cool your home.
Keep your system maintained
Annual air-conditioning maintenance will also help the unit run at peak performance with less restriction of airflow and properly working components. Schedule your visit early in the year to prevent problems when you need your system the most.
Wrap your basement ductwork
If there is condensation on your ductwork during the summer, this means your basement allows in a lot of hot or humid air. You can fix this issue by having your ductwork wrapped with proper insulation, adding a whole-house dehumidifier, or closing the air gaps in your basement by scheduling a Home & Duct Testing. Wrapping your ductwork helps the cold air stay longer and deliver better cooling comfort. A whole-house dehumidifier will not only help reduce humidity in your basement but is also an excellent way to remove more humidity from your home, so your air conditioner runs less.
Properly vent your attic
In most cases, homes with an attic and an air-handling unit in the basement or 1st floor have a warmer 2nd floor. Why is that? The demand for cooling is greater on the 2nd floor because of hot air entering from the attic.
Usually, people either have a 2nd system upstairs to assist with the high heat demand or have their attics properly sealed and vented to create less demand for heat in the home. Many homeowners try to use attic fans to condition the air, but research by the Comfort Institute shows that it makes your home warmer because the conditioned air is pulled from the 2nd floor and leaves through the attic. For proper attic venting methods, schedule a Home & Duct Test for your home.
Installing a radiant barrier on the underlining of your attic or sealing the air gaps between the floors and upgrading the insulation makes it easier to cool your home.
Get a leak check
One of the most-common service calls we make is to customers asking to fill up their air-conditioning system because it isn’t working like it did last year. Should you have it filled every year? NO! This is a temporary fix for a bigger issue. Homeowners don’t realize the long-term expense ahead of them by band-aiding their system year after year.
During the life of your system, if properly charged, it won’t need any more refrigerant to keep it running efficiently. When an air conditioner or coil is leaking refrigerant, it strains other system components, which may fail and lead to unexpected repair costs. What should you do? Have one of our N.A.T.E.-certified trained technicians perform a leak check to find the cause of the leak. Over 90% of the time, the leak is in either the indoor coil or air conditioner. In some cases, the leak may be in the copper lines connecting the two pieces of equipment and is usually caused by remodeling, new siding, or damage from trimming around the air-conditioning unit.
Upgrading your air-conditioning system
When is the right time to replace your current air-conditioning system? Most often, people replace their systems due to age, high repair costs, lack of performance, or cash incentives for replacement options.
The average life expectancy of an air conditioner is 12 to 15 years, and, with frequent technological advances, more-efficient units with lower operating costs become available. Some of the newest changes are:
1) Refrigerant change
- R-22 refrigerant is being phased out with more environmentally friendly R401A which provides higher- efficiency products.
2) Government air-conditioning standards
- The minimum replacement option for a new air conditioner is 13 SEER. SEER is comparable to mpg in a car; the higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit.
Now is a great time to save when upgrading your heating and air-conditioning system with incentives up to $1,200 OFF! Federal tax credits up to $500, PECO Heat Pump Rebates up to $400, A/C or Gas Furnace Rebates up to $300! And no-interest financing options up to 12 months or as low as 4.99% financing up to 10 years on Energy Star equipment.
So, whatever your next air-conditioning need may be, we can help. Call us at 267-984-4724 or check www.ChristianHVAC.com to schedule a service visit or a FREE in-home installation estimate for system upgrade options. Remember, when it comes to staying cool and comfortable this summer, you can trust our technicians to provide the high level of service you deserve.