The past couple of weeks my air conditioner doesn’t seem to be keeping up. If you have found yourself in the same boat as me, maybe you’ll want to do what I plan on doing to hopefully remedy the situation.
The first thing I’m going to do is check the filter in my furnace. I have a 20X25X5 inch filter in it. This filter is supposed to last 6 month. I replaced it a month ago so it should be clean. Turn off your furnace before you remove your filter. I have found debris in the cold air return that would have been sucked into the blower if I hadn’t turned the furnace off first. I always look to see how much stuff has acuminated in the return drop when I change filters. Things do make it past the cold air return grills in the kid’s bedrooms, and there have been many times where I found wads of paper and other debris stuck up in there by curious hands.
Air Flow at the Condenser
If the filter area checks out, it’s on to the condensing unit. First make sure that any bushes and flowers are not blocking the air flow. Most manufacturers want about 12 inches of space around all four sides of the air-conditioner. It’s very important to have four feet of open space above the AC to allow for proper exhaust of the hot air coming out of it. Next thing to do is look at the condenser coil. If it looks dirty you’re losing efficiency. This could be the reason your AC isn’t keeping up on hot days.
Insulation and Ventilation
The next thing I always check is the temperature of my ceiling. The temperature of your ceiling should be almost the same as the temperature of the air in the room, if it’s not you have attic problems. This requires a ladder to look up in your attic to see what’s going on. My house is 15 years old and I haven’t looked in the attic since I built the house in 1996. I think it’s time I look up there and see what’s going on. In fifteen years the insulation may have settled enough to lose some of its R-value, or energy efficiency. A quick look will tell me if it has settled or not. While I’m poking my nose around I’m also going to look at my attic vents to see if they are dirty or blocked with wasp nest or other debris. Blocked vents will make your air conditioner work harder and longer to cool down your home. Poor attic ventilation and old insulation are easy problems to fix once you know that they are there.
Well I’m going to check all of the things I mentioned, and in part 2, I’ll tell you what I find. My suggestion to you is if you have the same problem as me check the things I’m going to check and we will both be one step closer to solving our problems…at least with the air conditioner anyway.