While today’s central air conditioners offer superior efficiency and reliability, a few common AC issues are still often responsible when problems occur. The average central air conditioner installed today can be expected to provide reliable cooling performance for 12 to 15 years or more with routine annual maintenance. Despite this long service life, however, certain shortfalls may recur that require extra attention. Here are three common A/C issues you may encounter along the way and how they are typically resolved.

Low Airflow
No system parameter is more critical than adequate airflow. Declining efficiency, sub-standard cooling and increased wear and tear result when airflow falls below specs. Common causes include:

  • Dirty air filter. The filter should be changed monthly during the cooling season. It’s an easy DIY task that takes just a few minutes. Ask your HVAC contractor to show you how if you don’t know.
  • Closed or obstructed vents. If individual supply or return vents are shut or inadvertently blocked by furniture or other obstructions, system airflow suffers. Check all vents to verify they’re fully open.
  • Leaking ducts. Residential ductwork is often leaky, typically losing 20% or more of airflow due to deteriorated joints and other issues. Ducts should be inspected and pressure-tested to determine extent of leakage. Sealing options are available to restore normal airflow.

Low Refrigerant
Insufficient refrigerant circulating in the coils impacts A/C efficiency, cooling effectiveness and humidity extraction. Low refrigerant almost always indicates a small leak. A qualified HVAC technician using leak detection technology can repair the problem, then restore proper refrigerant level.

Improper Sizing
Both under-sized and over-sized air conditioners deliver poor performance, waste energy and often have shorter expected service life. Before selecting a new A/C, make sure the system accommodates the home’s cooling load. Conducted by a qualified HVAC technician, “sizing” involves a standardized survey to identify the unique thermal requirements of a house. Industry-standard software crunches this data to determine the exact A/C BTU capacity required for optimum cooling and lowest operating costs.

For professional advice and service to resolve common AC issues, contact Apollo Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.