When temperatures are on the rise, you and your family rely on your central air conditioner to keep your home cool and the humidity under control. Unfortunately, if you don’t use your central air conditioner wisely, you will notice an unnecessary loss in efficiency and a potential spike in your electric bill. Here are a few common central air conditioner mistakes homeowners make that you should avoid so that you can keep your home cool and save money too.
If you not familiar with the term “condenser”, it’s the outdoor unit that is also called the air conditioner. The condenser contains several important components that help keep your home cool, including the compressor condenser coil and condenser fan. These components help carry the heat out of your home to be expelled outside.
A condenser does produce noise during cooling cycles and during heating cycles for heat pumps. Usually when a new home is built the location of the condenser and the noise it will produce is considered. However there are times when a builder has preference and the location is determined by this preference. Also think about things that are added to your home and how your interests change. Is a patio or deck added to your home so that you can spend time relaxing outside? The ideal place for that relaxation might be right where you condenser sits.
If an air conditioner replacement is coming for your home don’t forget to think about the location of the unit. If the copper refrigerant or coolant lines from your furnace to the air conditioner are exposed, not sealed from view above drywall ceiling they will likely be replaced during the replacement process. This also means that if you have reason to move the unit changing the location at time of replacement would be the best time. To move an air conditioner or heat pump’s location at another time is not as simple as one might think. The refrigerant must be pumped out of the system, lines moved, electrical moved, reconnected and recharged. Many of the tasks listed are done during an air conditioner replacement so it stands to reason it would be the optimal time to relocate your condenser.
If you have several unused rooms in your home, or even an entire floor, you might assume that shutting off the rooms and closing the vents will help save you money on your monthly cooling bills. The theory behind this is that when the vents are closed, all the cool air created by the air conditioner will be redirected through the open vents in the other rooms.
Unfortunately traditional HVAC systems are sized to meet the entire home. This means that each room has a heating and cooling need and the ductwork is sized and designed to meet this need. If the ductwork is oversized the air to the room won’t come out of the vents with enough velocity to reach heights in the room that you will feel the comfort provided. If the ductwork is undersized the noise from the vents will be louder and the unit. If vents to rooms are completely shutoff the air will need to be released somewhere in the home. If the rest of the house is sized to the designed need the extra air will have trouble being released and before long cause trouble for the furnace’s blower.
The money that one would expect to see by sealing off rooms to avoid conditioning them may never be recognized. In fact in an attempt to save money one may actually spend more if pressures are off enough that the furnace blower fails and repairs are required.
If your central air conditioner is older or doesn’t seem to work as efficiently, you might consider the purchase of a much larger unit. Unfortunately, instead of cooling your home more quickly and efficiently, when you buy a unit that is too large for your home, it can create a host of problems.
For example, an air conditioner that is too large for a home will cool the air too quickly. This might seem like a good thing, but in reality, when the air conditioner runs on shorter cycles, it cannot effectively lower your home’s humidity levels. Although your thermostat will reach your setting point the will feel humid and sticky, thus making it feel warmer than it should.
When there is too much humidity left in your home, it can also lead several different issues, including mold and mildew growth and poor air quality.
Other issues with oversized air conditioning units are uneven temperatures throughout the home and greater wear and tear on the condenser, especially the compressor. If the air conditioner runs for only short periods of time you might feel comfortable to only shortly there after feel that it is too warm. Also if you have any trouble spots in your home you may find them to be worse since the air is not mixed throughout the home as long. Short cooling runs take a toll on the condenser because start ups wear more on the compressor than the even cooling calls. Turning on and off more frequently puts more pressure on the compressor and can cause failures. It’s best to check with a qualified HVAC specialist that will take the time to check the sizing needed for your home and its ductwork.
From purchasing a central air conditioner that is too large to closing off the vents in their home, there are central air conditioner mistakes homeowners should avoid. If you have any further questions, contact Bryant.