Being both an air conditioning contractor and energy auditor we get calls all the time for comfort, noise, high energy bills and air quality problems and they don't always stem from where you would suspect. Here are some of the most common homeowner issues along with who the best person is to fix the issue in a classic battle of air conditioning companies vs home performance energy auditors.
Weak Airflow In Some Rooms aka Hot Rooms
You'll usually only notice low airflow in some rooms when it gets uncomfortably hot in the room. Contrary to common beliefs, a new air conditioner will not magically make that room cool. It requires an airflow adjustment by either air balancing dampers, a zoning system, a new supply register or a jump duct in the room. If you see the door close by itself when the air comes on, you likely need a jump duct to relieve the high room pressure build up. An energy auditor will be best suited for this problem as they will be able to take measurements and have the right equipment to access the problem and make the proper recommendations. The age old AC contractor solution is to add a return to a hot room and that isn't always the fix and can even make things worse.
Air Conditioner Running Constantly and Never Shutting Off
The slow torture of having your AC constantly running and having either the temperature rise or just stay the same while never shutting off can take weeks to ever notice and is likely accompanied by a shockingly high energy bill. Can this be caused by low insulation or a massive hole in the ductwork? Yes it can but it is more than likely a problem an air conditioning technician can diagnosis and fix.
Air Filter Getting Sucked Into the Return
When you change your filters do you notice them bent out of shape from the sheer suction force your AC blower exerts? No, it's not from the power of your blower motor but rather from your return being too small and undersized. Have an energy auditor over to measure the static pressure and see how restrictive your return actually is to make recommendations and repairs to fix the bent filter problem.
Loud and Noisy Returns
Do you have to turn the TV up every time the AC comes on? Do you wake up in the middle of the night when the AC starts? This is more than an inconvenience as it's causing your AC system to work much harder than it should. Best have an energy auditor take a look at the noise as they will be able to measure how restrictive the return is and recommend the best size for the new return.
Loud Condenser Outside
A loud condenser can shake the walls and could be from a fan blade imbalance, improper freon charge, bolts coming loose on the compressor or the lineset may have come loose in the wall. An air conditioning company will be able to find the source of your problem best. It is possible to relocate a condenser if it's in a bad place like a bedroom window, kitchen area or behind the TV.
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