It’s been a hot summer here in the Shenandoah Valley, and if you’re like most homeowners, you’ve been spending quite a bit of time basking in the cool air provided by your air conditioner. Some may notice, however, that their air conditioners have been running overtime, in which case staying cool may not be very easy at all. It helps to take a closer look at your AC if it isn’t working the way it should be.
Now is no time of year for your AC to be acting up. Here are just a few things that may be causing the issue.
1. The Heat Load is Too High
When you leave for work in the morning, there’s a good chance that you close your windows and button-down the house before hitting the road. From the time you leave to the time you get home, the potential for heat to build up grows with each passing hour. If it’s 95 degrees out, for example, you may come home to an 88-degree house. The solution can be found in keeping your cooling system at a constant temperature—73 degrees is a good number to stick with. This way, your home should always stay at a comfortable temperature no matter how hot it gets outside.
2. The Air Filter is Dirty
When you think about what the purpose of an air filter actually is, it stands to reason why it would get dirty over time. Your AC’s air intake brings in outside air, which is often filled with dust, dirt and debris. These and other contaminants stop at the filter so as to not enter your indoor air stream. If regular maintenance isn’t performed, however, the air filter will eventually clog up, causing a reduction in performance. The solution? Regular maintenance, which includes replacing your air filter when needed.
3. You’re Having Thermostat Issues
Sometimes, thermostats can act up and cause cooling systems to function improperly. Air conditioners typically cool at 15-20 degrees at a time before kicking off, and if the air in the home is already hot, it’s going to take longer than usual to cool to a comfortable level. If you’re noticing that your home still isn’t properly cooling down no matter how much you’ve dropped the temperature on your thermostat, it’s time to call a professional for AC maintenance.
4. Your AC Has a Refrigerant Leak
Contrary to what you may think, the refrigerant in your AC should never need to be replaced. That being said, there’s always a potential for leaks to occur, which can severely limit the efficiency of an air conditioning system. Fortunately, leaks can be repaired, and refrigerant can be refilled and recalibrated to get your AC running the way it’s supposed to once again.