Solving Air Conditioning Problems

Learning some air conditioning troubleshooting skills will come in handy when your HVAC acts up.

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In the heat of the summer, you will definitely want your central air conditioning system to be working properly. Aside from the fact that it will help keep you and your family comfortable, it will also save you money and even protect your health. If your air conditioning system is not cooling your home as it should, there are a number of things you can look at when trying to pin down the cause.

Ductwork Leaks

The government estimates that in the average home in the United States around 20 percent of the conditioned air being pumped through ductwork is lost because of leaks. This means that the rooms will not be as comfortable as they should, and your bills will be unnecessarily high. You (or a professional) can check for leaks all along the ductwork by holding burning incense along the connections. Any movement in the smoke indicates a leak that should be sealed with mastic.

Filters

The filters in central air conditioning systems should be replaced or cleaned, depending on the type you use, every month or two. Otherwise, the airflow through your system can be reduced.

Return Air Ducts

If you find that the upper floors are not cooling sufficiently, it may be that your return air ducts are not functioning properly. The air return ducts carry the hot air from the second floor back down so it can be cooled. Make sure that they are installed in the correct location, which is near the ceiling. Ensure that nothing is blocking them.

Compressor Maintenance

There are several things that can go wrong with the outside compressor unit that might make your system less effective. However, most of these problems are best handled by a professional. For example, dirty coils or lower refrigerant pressure could both reduce the effectiveness of your system.

Finding the reason why your central air conditioning system is not performing as well as you would like usually requires a careful examination of the entire system. However, this is often the only way to zero in on the problem or problems.

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