Why Your Air-Conditioner Is Losing Its Efficiency, And What You Can Do About It
Has your air conditioner lost its efficiency? If your AC is not cooling or heating your house as well as it used to do soon after installation, but it is still running, then there is something interfering with its operations. Here are three common culprits of reduced AC efficiency, and how to combat them:
The Evaporator Coils Are Dirty
The air conditioner keeps your house cool by drawing heat from the air that blows over the evaporator coils. Different debris, such as dirt and pollen, may accumulate over the evaporator coils. Accumulated debris reduces the AC's efficiency since it interferes with the airflow over the coils. Not only that, but the dirt may also make the air conditioner run hotter than normal, which reduces its useful life. Thus, regular cleaning of the evaporator coils is essential to maintain efficiency.
Air ducts are responsible for conditioning your house (heated or cooled) air around the home. Therefore, a leak in any part of the duct reduces the amount of conditioned air flowing around the house, which affects the efficiency of the AC unit. Since air can flow out of the smallest cracks or holes, and these ducts are usually hidden from view, you may be dealing with leaking air without knowing for a long time.
Here are some of the symptoms that may point to leaking ducts:
- Some rooms are significantly cooler than others
- Some rooms are stuffy
- You can see tangled flexible ducts (for example in the crawlspace)
Consult a technician to locate and plug the leaks.
Low Refrigerant Levels
The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air passing over the evaporator coils; this is how it cools the air. The continuous flow of the refrigerant is necessary to control your room temperature. This will not happen if the refrigerant level is inadequate.
Apart from inefficient cooling, low refrigerant levels may also lead to compressor motor damage. This happens when the motor becomes overheated since the refrigerant supposed to cool it is inadequate.
Have your air conditioner technician check your refrigerant levels, and any possible leakage, that may reduce your unit's efficiency. This check is especially necessary with old ACs whose systems have degraded over the years.
Most of these are problems that a maintenance technician will detect during routine servicing. Therefore, regular servicing and cleaning is necessary to maintain your air conditioner's efficiency. Ask the air conditioning technician for other tips for maintaining your unit's efficiency.