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4 Common Summer Questions About Your Air Conditioning

During the summer, homeowners often have questions about their air conditioning system – especially if it is not cooling as expected. Here are a few commonly asked questions and some thoughts about what to do when a problem needs to be addressed.

1) Why doesn’t the air feel cold enough?

One reason your air may not be cooling your home sufficiently is a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is designed to take heat from the air, but when there is not enough of it in the system, the A/C unit cannot do its job efficiently. Other signs of a refrigerant leak include ice collecting on the outside of the unit and strange noises – including bubbling or hissing coming from the unit. Another sign your system has a refrigerant leak is if the air isn’t cool during the day, but feels cold at night. If you believe your A/C has a refrigerant leak, call a professional immediately. Continuing to run the unit causes further damage to the compressor.

2) Why is my A/C unit making a strange noise?

There are many reasons why your unit could be making alarming noises. Here are common noises and what they mean.

  • Banging noise – Your unit may be suffering from a loose part inside the compressor. If this is the case, the compressor itself may need to be replaced.
  • Hissing noise — As noted earlier, a bubbling or hissing noise can indicate the system has a refrigerant leak.
  • Buzzing noise — A buzzing noise coming from around the fan may indicate that the motor is failing. It also may indicate the wiring has become loose.
  • Humming noise —A humming noise can indicate the capacitor is failing and may need to be replaced.
  • Clicking noise — This disruption can be the result of a thermostat that is no longer functioning correctly.
  • Hissing or screaming — These two noises are to be taken very seriously. A screaming noise can indicate the A/C unit is experiencing too much pressure and could result in a dangerous situation for your home.

3) Why is the unit running so much?

Running your system more than necessary is bad for the environment and your electric bill. When your unit runs for a long period of time without shutting off, this could signal a problem such as a dirty evaporator coil. When the coil becomes saturated with debris, it makes the unit work harder to cool the space and keeps it from shutting off in the process. Other reasons for the unit running too much include low refrigerant and a bad thermostat.

4) Why won’t the A/C unit stay at the right temperature?

Most home comfort systems aren’t equipped to decrease your home’s temperature by 20 degrees from the temperature outside your home. Setting your thermostat to a temperature below that differential usually means your system will run for longer periods of time without being able to cool your house to your desired temperature. So, if the temperature outside is 98 degrees, your home isn’t likely to get any cooler than 78 degrees, even if you have your thermostat set to 70 degrees.

One tip to improve the efficiency of your home comfort system all year round is to replace your filters as suggested. A filter clogged with dust and debris adds resistance and inhibits air from passing through, preventing cool air from circulating properly in your home.

If you suspect your home comfort system may not be working properly, or if you have questions about your system’s efficiency, contact Barineau Heating & Air Conditioning for an inspection or give us a call at (850) 580-4029 or (229) 495-6599.

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