Posted on: 14 April 2023
Have you just turned your air conditioner on for the spring, only to discover it's taking excessively long to cool your home? Or have you always lived with long cooling times and assumed these were a normal part of your system's operation? While the amount of time an air conditioning system takes to cool a home can vary, long cooling times sometimes indicate an underlying maintenance issue.
There are many potential reasons why your system may be running in long cycles, but these are three relatively common causes worth understanding to decide if you need to take action.
1. You Live in a Humid Environment
The longer your air conditioner runs, the more humidity it can remove. In humid climates, installers may sometimes slightly undersize residential systems. This approach allows the air conditioner to run for long as it attempts to reach the thermostat's setpoint. Since your air conditioner coolers your home more slowly, it can help keep humidity levels in check.
What You Can Do: If you find your system's cooling acceptable and it eventually reaches your thermostat setpoint, you may not need to do anything. On the other hand, installing a whole-home dehumidifier may provide an alternative. Pairing a dehumidifier with a more powerful (but still correctly sized) system can help you control humidity while cooling your home more quickly.
2. You Have Ductwork Issues
Your home may be losing as much as 30% of its heating and cooling efficiency to problems with your ductwork. Ductwork losses prevent cool air from reaching the vents in your home's rooms, meaning that your air conditioner needs to work longer and harder to maintain temperature. If you notice the problem slowly worsening year after year, you may have degrading ductwork in your home.
What You Can Do: Replacing or repairing ductwork can be expensive, so it's a decision you'll need to consider carefully. A good first step is to hire a professional HVAC contractor to perform a duct leakage test. This test can help you determine if your ducts are to blame for your cooling issues, allowing you to decide whether replacing or sealing them is cost-effective for your situation.
3. You've Deferred Maintenance
Many maintenance tasks help ensure your air conditioning system operates as efficiently as possible. Dirty or clogged condenser and evaporator coils can't transfer heat effectively, reducing your system's overall efficiency and causing it to remove heat less effectively. As a result, you may notice your system performance slowly degrading until it takes your AC much too long to cool your home.
What You Can Do: Whenever you're facing AC performance issues without an obvious cause, a good first step is to schedule a routine maintenance visit and inspection. A professional technician can check your system for problems, perform routine maintenance, and help you identify the underlying cause of your system's inadequate performance.
Contact an HVAC contractor to learn more.Share