With summer well upon us, there’s little doubt that you’ve gotten used to seeing higher-than-average electricity bills. After all, it takes a lot more energy to get your house cool during the warm weather. But there may be more to this than that. Higher electricity bills can often be prevented by checking for and handling a number of problems. The main one is that the current air conditioning system has issues. So if you can’t simply correlate the higher electric bill directly to increased air conditioner usage, then it would be wise to take a further look into the HVAC system itself.
A Few Possible HVAC Problems Causing Increased Electrical Consumption
To help investigate this, here’s a handy guide outlining a few of the reasons air conditioners may start costing you more to run:
- Age of the unit: How long have you had your current unit? Beyond 15 years and it’s probably endured enough wear and tear to absolutely killing its efficiency. Sure, you could repair it, but typically a replacement is the way to go with such an old unit.
- Air filter is clogged: As your AC unit runs, the filter is picking up all sorts of dust and small debris. While this keeps it out of your air, it reduces the airflow of the system. Check your filter regularly, and replace/clean it often. For some filters, this should be done every few weeks.
- Leaky ductwork: You could be losing about 30% of the cool air in your home due to leaks in the ducts. This problem is actually more common than you may think. The AC unit has to work much harder to maintain the desired temperature so this one should be professionally repaired right away.
- Trouble with the motor: Regular maintenance and lubrication can keep your AC motor running. Lack of this will cause it to wear out and get clogged with dirt and dust. Not only that, but it can run the risk of burning out completely. Getting a technician to check your motor is advised.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: As the thermostat is what regulates and controls the entire system, it can actually be a cause of many problems. It could be making the unit run longer than it should due to problems with the sensor. As thermostats are not really that expensive, replacing one isn’t too big a deal (just be sure to have an experienced technician do it as using the wrong thermostat for the wrong air conditioner can cause even more problems).
Now, remember that it can be tough to isolate the correct problem with a given air conditioner as there are quite a lot of places where things can go wrong. The only way to be sure is to hire an HVAC specialist as they have the knowledge and tools to ensure that the correct problem is found and handled.
If you think your AC is costing you more than it should, then give us a call at 215.366.1001.
We service HVAC units in Philadelphia, PA and can help you to get your unit squared away.