It’s 2 a.m. You should be asleep, and on any other night, you would be. At the very least, you’d be ready to drift off. But you can’t sleep, because there’s a noise.
It’s a low humming, and you wander the house, trying to trace its source. Did you leave an appliance on? Is someone running the engine of a car outside?
Then you realize: it’s coming from your vents, the sound of a heating and air conditioning system that’s working overtime.
There are a few reasons why your AC system might be struggling in the summertime, but they all lead to the same destination: inefficient cooling and a higher energy bill.
1. Your air filter has worn out its welcome
When an air filter in a heating and air conditioning system becomes clogged, it can restrict the airflow in your system and cause your air conditioner to work much harder to keep things cool.
Contrary to popular belief, this filter isn’t just there to improve the air quality of your home. Its real job is to protect the inner workings of your system from debris and dirt.
It’s not enough to wait until you’re having HVAC maintenance done. The filters should be cleaned or replaced once a season, if not once per month. (It will depend on the amount of contaminants circulating in the air.)
2. Your heating and air conditioning system wasn’t installed correctly
If your HVAC system wasn’t installed by qualified professionals, there are several issues that can cause it to work harder than necessary.
An installer who didn’t know what they were doing may not have picked a system that was properly sized for your home.
And this can make a big difference in how well your heating and air conditioning system performs. A system that’s too small won’t properly cool your home, while a system that’s too big will go through what’s known as “short-cycling.”
When an HVAC system short-cycles, it turns itself on and off over and over again and never finishes an entire cooling cycle. This makes the system work harder than it needs to and can shorten the life of your central air conditioning unit.
3. Your refrigerant is leaking
Refrigerant is a liquid that absorbs heat from the air. When your system doesn’t have enough refrigerant, it can’t cool your home.
Refrigerant doesn’t run out, so a lack of this fluid will only happen due to a leak. You can tell you have a leak if you hear a hissing noise or see ice collecting on the refrigerant line on your outdoor central air conditioning unit. Another sign you have a leak: your air conditioner has no trouble sending out cool air on cooler days but struggles when the weather is hot.
Trying to operate a central air conditioning unit with a refrigerant leak can lead to serious damage. If you notice these symptoms, contact your HVAC maintenance company as soon as you can.
4. You have a hole in your ductwork
This is pretty straightforward issue: holes or loose connecting inside an air duct will keep cool air from moving throughout your home, causing your system to become overworked.
5. You forget to schedule regular HVAC maintenance
When was the last time an HVAC technician looked at your system? If it’s been more than a year, you’re doing your air conditioner – and your household budget – a disservice.
Regular maintenance can help your technician spot any major issues…or smaller problems that have the potential to turn into big headaches. And if you already have maintenance/service plan with us, this service may be included.
If your HVAC system needs a check-up, All Seasons Comfort Control can help. Our experts can look at your heating and air-conditioning unit and determine whether there are any issues causing your system to struggle. Contact us today and give your system a rest.