It’s not uncommon for homeowners to panic when their air conditioner seems to be malfunctioning, especially in the dead heat of a Tulsa, OKlahoma summer. Luckily, many common issues are easily addressed, with most being the direct result of simple, albeit unintentional, neglect.
Perhaps the most common issue is a lack of cooling. Often, the cause of this problem is as simple as an improperly programmed thermostat or a thrown circuit breaker.
- Check the thermostat for desired temperature settings and ensure that the cooling system is actually turned on. If everything is as it should be, the next option is to try resetting the thermostat. If this does not correct the issue, a professional assessment is recommended.
- If the culprit is a thrown circuit breaker, resetting the breaker should correct the problem. Of course, if this is a common occurrence, there is likely an underlying electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a professional.
If lack of airflow is the issue:
- Dirty filters can restrict airflow and put a strain on your system in terms of efficiency. If filter replacement doesn’t seem to correct the problem, consult a trained technician.
- If you suspect a frozen indoor coil, try adjusting the thermostat for a few hours to unfreeze the system. If this doesn’t work, contact your HVAC contractor.
Another common complaint is spiking energy costs. This can be the result of several factors, including:
- New appliances
- Extreme summer heat
- Extreme thermostat settings
- Local utility rate increases
If your energy increases can’t be explained away logically, you may be the victim of improper system cycling or some other system malfunction. Of course, the best way to ensure that your system is running properly when you need it most is to maintain a routine preventive maintenance schedule. This allows your technician to evaluate and adjust every aspect of your cooling system, including:
- Proper system cycling
- Thermostat accuracy
- Electrical safety
- Air filter maintenance
- Cleanliness and efficiency of indoor and outdoor coils
- Condensate drains
Last but not least, during extreme temperatures, your system may not be able to keep the temperature as low as it does normally. This can be due to several factors:
1. Your system may not be sized properly for your comfort. A professional is needed to do a load calculation on the house to determine the correct size. Maybe your system cooled better in previous years? Did something change like the loss of a large shade tree or did you replace wood shingles with asphault shingles? Has your ductwork or insulation been disturbed by remodeling or other services? Is the system clean?
2. Your attic may have inadequate attic ventilation. With extreme temps comes extreme attic temperatures. And if your attic can’t properly remove the extreme heat, this puts excess heat gain on your home’s interior.
3. With extreme temperatures come extreme heat on your duct system. If your ducts are not properly insulated, this can cause your air to “lose it’s cool”, therefore making your unit run longer and less efficient.
4. What is the level of attic insulation in your home? If this is not at least 12″ you are putting extreme pressure on your system to cool at levels it was probably not designed for.
If you’ve been experiencing problems with your air conditioner, don’t wait until the entire system shuts down. Call the trained technicians of Air Assurance today for an expert consultation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.