5 Common AC Problems
Not only will your electric bills in Washington be cheaper––your AC system will last longer. Plus, your equipment will be operating at its best, so you will experience maximum comfort.
The first step to optimizing efficiency is remembering to change your system’s air filter once every three months. This simple maintenance task ensures a balanced airflow, so your AC doesn’t overwork itself.
When you change out a dirty filter for a clean one, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment use up to 15 percent less energy monthly, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Plus, it’s able to properly catch dust and debris, boosting your indoor air quality (IAQ).
Ballard Natural Gas is always eager to educate our Seattle area customers on heating and cooling home care. Whether you have an AC, furnace, heat pump, or ductless mini split, we want you to get the most out of your investment.
Here are five reasons your AC could be running inefficiently:
1. Infrequent Maintenance
In addition to changing your filter, it’s important to have an HVAC professional perform a seasonal maintenance inspection, ideally in the spring. Your professional will be able to pinpoint and fix problems that are causing your AC to run less efficiently. Additionally, this will potentially save you from future repair costs. Finally, it will increase the lifespan of your equipment.
2. Poor Insulation
A well-insulated house keeps treated air in longer. That means fewer cycles, which creates less work for your AC system and uses less energy. Think you may need more insulation? You can schedule an energy audit with your Ballard Natural Gas professional. Our team of Seattle HVAC experts can use thermal imaging to quickly find “hot spots” where the air is escaping, among other areas where efficiency is lacking.
3. Window Losses
Windows can create a few efficiency problems. Large windows can create “heat gain” by letting in lots of sunlight. Windows can also let in outside air through spaces in the panes. You can combat these issues in a few ways. Always be sure to close your windows when operating your AC. Additionally, you can eliminate leaks by using insulated curtains, applying a plastic film, or closing them up with caulk or sealing tape.
4. Leaky Ducts
Leaky air ducts are a common problem that should not go unnoticed. Conditioned air escaping from your ductwork will drive up your utility bills and make your home less comfortable due to poor ventilation. During an energy audit, your HVAC professional can accurately track down and patch duct leaks.
5. Frequent Oven Use
Have you ever noticed your kitchen feels warmer when you make a batch of cookies? That’s because it is. Cooking and baking raise the temperature of your kitchen, causing your AC to work harder. Fortunately, summertime here in Washington is grilling season. Consider cooking outdoors more frequently. Your AC will thank you.