Why Do My AC Bills Keep Rising?

Ask anyone what keeps making your AC bills rise and you will likely get the same answer – something along the lines of “your HVAC system is not working as efficiently as it should be.” While this is certainly the quickest and most common answer, it doesn’t actually answer your true question “what is causing your AC system to run so inefficiently that it is causing your bills to keep rising?” The answer to that question isn’t quite as simple. There are many different things that could be going on within your HVAC unit to cause it to run inefficiently. If you suspect your AC system isn’t running as efficiently as it should be, it is extremely important that you hire an experienced technician to inspect and diagnose any problems.

How do I know if my HVAC unit is running inefficiently?

Besides taking into consideration the rising costs of your AC bills, there are other signs which may be present that can alert you to an issue with the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. These signs include:

  • Warm air blowing out of the vents
  • Reduced airflow
  • Strange noises – particularly when starting your AC
  • Your AC is having difficulty keeping up with the job of properly cooling your home
  • Poor indoor air quality

These are just a few of the most common signs that something is going on deeper within your HVAC unit to cause your AC to run inefficiently. Some simple maintenance may be able to be done on your own, but if there is a problem with your unit that goes beyond routine maintenance it is probably time to call a professional.

What is causing my HVAC unit to run inefficiently?

Once you have determined one or multiple signs of AC inefficiency are present, you are likely going to wonder what is causing it. There are a few different things that could be causing your air conditioner to run inefficiently and raise your energy bills, but a few of the most common issues include:

  • A Refrigerant Leak – Too many people improperly assume that their AC’s refrigerant needs to be regularly refilled or recharged to keep it running efficiently. However, AC refrigerant is not intended to be refilled or recharged. If you are having to replace your AC’s refrigerant, this means only one thing – there must be a leak somewhere causing you to lose your refrigerant. And any leak in your HVAC unit will affect the overall performance of the cooling system. You will most likely be able to detect a refrigerant leak through the existence of ice on your system’s coils or reduced cooling power.
  • Overheating of Your HVAC Unit – If you are having a problem with a part of your HVAC unit overheating, your system’s fan motor is probably to blame. In this scenario, you will likely need to have the unit’s fan motor replaced. If you do not replace the fan motor, the heat it is putting off will likely seep through into the indoor air and thus produce even more heat for your unit to have to remove and cool, which will significantly decrease the overall efficiency of the HVAC system.
  • Damages to Your System’s Ductwork – There are a few different manners in which a damage to your HVAC unit’s ductwork can impact its overall efficiency. Which problem damaged ductwork will cause for you depends on what the damage is and where the damage is located. It is possible for damaged ductwork to cause your system to pull in hot air, which means your system has to work harder to cool the air that is put back out into your home, but it is also possible for damaged ductwork to cause your unit to blow cool air out into unoccupied spaces that don’t need it such as your attic or basement.
  • Problems With Insulation – It is possible your home never had proper insulation installed to begin with, but even if it did, insulation can also deteriorate as time goes on. Proper insulation helps our units keep warmer air indoors throughout Florida’s very short winters, but more importantly, it helps keep the warm air out of our homes during our long, scorching summers. If your home has poor insulation, it requires your HVAC unit to work harder in order to properly maintain a comfortable temperature within your home.
  • Outer Obstructions to Your HVAC Unit – It is important to keep your outdoor HVAC unit clean, clear, and free of clutter. As your AC system pulls the warm air out of your home, it needs to expel this warm air outdoors. But obstructions such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, mulch, and other debris can quickly clog your system and cause the warm air to become stuck inside the system, which can cause additional damage to your unit.

The harder your HVAC unit has to work to continue to do its job of maintaining a comfortable temperature within your home, the more inefficiently the system is going to run and the more expensive your cooling bills will become. As with many things, preventative care and routine maintenance is the best thing you can do to protect your air conditioning system from common issues that can lead to it running inefficiently.

If you have noticed a consistent spike in your energy costs, or if you would like to schedule preventative maintenance, contact the experienced professional technicians at EasyBreezy A/C Services today.



What To Do About Hot And Cold Spots In Your Home

Walking from one room to another shouldn’t cause you to feel like you walked through an invisible wall – with one side much warmer or cooler than the other. Warm and cold spots in a home can be frustrating – your bedroom doesn’t get as cool in the summer or as warm in the winter as your kitchen or living room. Inconsistent temperatures throughout your home may be able to be corrected easily, depending on what is causing them in the first place.

Some of the more common reasons for hot and cold spots in your home are:

Dirty Air Ducts

Over time, dust and debris builds up in your ducts. Often from filters not being changed on time but dirty duct work can also occur from small holes or tears in your ducts or large holes that are repaired that let in excess dust and air debris. The distribution of the dust is often not even throughout your duct work, causing some areas to allow air flow to continue like normal while other sections have limited air flow. The rooms the ducts with limited air flow lead to are often the areas in your home that suffer from hot or cold spots.

The Fix: Be sure to regularly change your air filters – on average every 1 to 3 months. Homes with children or pets should change their air filters more often, typically every month. Another way to prevent hot and cold spots is to have your ducts inspected and cleaned. A duct inspection will catch and air leaks that need repair and a duct cleaning service will remove build up in your ducts – leading to better air flow throughout your home.

Air Leaks

Aside from leaks in your ducts, leaks through windows and doors can also cause a room to become to warm or cold compared to the rest of your home. During the summer months, while your air conditioning is pumping through your home, cool air is escaping through leaks in certain rooms making the room seem warmer than other areas. Comparably, in winter, the warm air is escaping into the outdoors making the room colder than expected.

The Fix: Inspect window edges for any holes in the seal and check around doors for gaps (the bottom of doors is a common culprit). You can DIY repair the seals around windows and replace the weather stripping around the doors and along the bottom. If a window has a bad gap or is loose, you may need to contact a handyman or window installer for more serious repairs.

Air Conditioner Age

As air conditioners age, they become less efficient or their technology is out dated compared to newer models. If they are unable to put out adequate air flow or are not properly warming or cooling the air, then it could be the cause of your hot or cold spots in your home.

The Fix: A new air conditioner can resolve your efficiency problem but since it can be costly to fully replace an air conditioner you can attempt other solutions while you save for a new air conditioner. Check for the above issues to help minimize risks of hot and cold spots caused by other issues. Also, you could try HVAC Zoning, which is the use of multiple thermostats to control the temperature in different areas of your homes. Like in two-story homes, a thermostat is installed upstairs and another downstairs that enables the homeowner to control separate temperature in each level of the home. If your hot and cold spots are severe, then a thermostat in that room may help you better manage the temperature in it.



Factors That Are Affecting Your Home AC Performance

High-efficiency air conditioning systems provide homeowners with many excellent benefits including a comfortable home. But at some point, you observe it is not functioning as it supposed to be. What could be the main reason? Discover what significant factors are that affect the overall performance of your AC unit.

  • Unit Size

Size plays an integral part in the performance of your HVAC. Larger ACs will cool or warm home immediately, while smaller units will have struggle meeting your temperature needs. Not to mention, too large of an air conditioning system can cause it to cycle on and off, eventually wasting valuable energy.

  • Poor Airflow

There are various things that affect the airflow of your unit. Dirty condenser coils, for instance, limit airflow and affect cooling performance. The filter becomes dirty over time as it gets rid of dust and other particles from the air, thereby, minimizing airflow. A condenser unit that is choked up by obstructions, such as leaves, is another issue to tackle. You need to clean the coils at least once every season to eliminate dirt and dust (or have a professional ac repair technician clean them for you).

  • Air Leaks

Cracks around windows and doors as well as damage to the roof or poorly-sealed pipes and ducts can all enable air exchange. This ultimately affects the humidity and temperature of the air in your home and the performance of your air conditioner.

  • Poor Insulation

A poorly performing insulation also affects the efficiency of your AC system. It allows the heat to transfer between the interior spaces of your residential and outdoor air, which increases the temperature and requires ample amount of work from your unit to achieve the right cooling level as per your demand.

  • Duct Conditions

Air ducts supply the air to the rest of your house. So, if they are clogged, leaking, dirty, or in bad condition, the overall efficiency of your air conditioning unit is at stake. Clear out severe buildup and patch holes to ensure your ducts perform their role appropriately. But since ducts are hard to see, allow an HVAC professional to diagnose your ductwork for potential issues.

  • Cooling Load

The amount of area your AC has to cool, the location of the unit, the heat produced inside, and other significant factors combine to make a cooling load for the unit. The higher the cooling load, the harder it is for your air conditioner to cool efficiently.

  • Debris on the Outside Unit

Debris surrounding outside unit are common, affecting the AC’s performance. Make sure the unit is always clean and free from debris. First, vegetation and bushes must not slow down airflow. Allow your unit to have enough room to breathe.

  • Dust in the Air Filters

There are still some homeowners who do not see filter replacement as an important task. This should not be the case, though, because you are only allowing your unit to lose efficiency. Change the filters every month or every 2 months to keep airflow moving and reduce dust.

  • Age of the Air Conditioning Unit

The AC’s age is another obvious reason why the performance of your unit is deteriorating. Models that are twenty years or older are possibly to be less energy efficient. Over time, the HVAC system loses their efficiency as well. The average lifespan of an air conditioner is around 15-20 years.

  • Thermostat Problems

All air conditioning units depend on thermostat setting to determine when your indoor air needs cooling. Insufficient cooling is the main issue here, mainly due to a malfunctioned thermostat or a thermostat that is not properly set. If necessary, the battery.  

  • Maintenance

Your air conditioning system essentially requires routine cleaning and maintenance to work properly. Sure, you can clean the coils and change the filters on your own, but maintaining your unit requires more than just that. There are other tasks that need the assistance and help of a professional HVAC, like ductwork cleaning and checking refrigerant levels.

Air conditioning units are among the prized machines of your home as they contribute a lot to make your home very comfortable to live in. These units conserve more energy, save money, and give better results.



5 Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner

Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit Attached To The Side Of A Home

 

There are times when a homeowner should consider completely replacing their HVAC system instead of just repairing it. While it can be expensive to upgrade your air conditioner, it can actually help to save on costly energy and maintenance bills down the road.

But before you decide to replace, here are some ways to assure that your unit is incapable of repair, or just simply too old to function in a costly manner.

  • Your AC Unit is Older Than Your First Born. Any heat pump/air conditioning units should be considered to be upgraded if they are older than ten years old. If your furnace or boiler is older than 15 years, you may also think of replacing these as well. If you notice that your air conditioner is not keeping your house cool enough, even when the thermostat is set correctly, then this may be a sign that its age has caught up with its ability to cool your home.

 

  • Your Air Conditioner Is Always Working. If your unit is constantly running even when it is set on “Auto”, this may mean that your system is overloaded and this could be a good indication of that it needs to be replaced. This is especially true if it doesn’t seem to cool the house properly even after running all day. By replacing the unit, you could actually save on high monthly energy bills caused by an overworked system.

 

  • High Monthly Energy Bills. Did you know HVAC systems account for 40% of your energy bill? If your unit is costing you a pretty penny every month in utility bills, you may want to start thinking about replacing your air conditioner. There are several new energy efficient options, that are also surprisingly affordable.

 

  • Your Air Conditioner Is Always Breaking Down. The summer is nearly half over and if you have had to call an HVAC technician to your home 2 to 3 times already because your AC keeps breaking down, then a new unit may be your better option.

 

  • It Breaks the 5,000 Rule. A general rule of thumb in the HVAC industry is if your repair costs are over $5,000 then you should be looking at new units instead. If the repairs will cost you less than $5,000, then go ahead and get the fix done. Also be sure to add a maintenance plan to routinely check your air conditioner for problems before they happen.

 



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