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How to Test the Efficiency of Your AC

Your house has air conditioning, which is great, but you’re not sure how efficient it is. Many homeowners never question the status of their AC until it stops working. If your AC efficiency is questionable, you may be spending a lot more money than you need to. Regular checks of your air conditioner’s components, and a simple test will tell you if it is functioning properly.

Here are four things that can affect the efficiency of your air conditioner. Check these first to make sure that you get accurate test results. Any one of these can cause your air conditioner to struggle to maintain even room temperature.

1. Dirty Air Filter

The first thing to do is check your air conditioner’s air filter. Is it clogged with dust? A dirty filter can make it harder for the unit to pull in the fresh air. Air filters should be checked monthly and replaced when dirty.

2. Clogged Condenser

Can you hear the unit running? It should have a faint humming sound when turned on. The outdoor condenser unit can get clogged with dirt and debris from your yard. Give it a thorough cleaning with a garden hose and make sure it is free of leaves and grass clippings.

3. Closed or Blocked Vents

Do you feel cold air coming out of the vents in each room? The vents should be clear of dust and open to allow air to flow out.

4. Drafty Doors and Windows

Doors and windows can let in drafts that can affect your indoor temperatures. When you have the air conditioner on, close the blinds or cover windows to prevent heat transfer through the glass. The heat that comes in through the windows can make it hotter inside and increase humidity.

After checking the components of your AC system, perform the following test to see how well your system performs. This test will determine if you need to call a repair service or not.

Testing The AC

This simple test works perfectly on older systems since newer units are programmed for maximum efficiency. If you have a system that is between 5 and 10 years old, and it struggles to keep your home cool enough, then give this test a shot.

The only thing you need for this test is a thermometer. Allow your air conditioner to run for at least 20 minutes before performing the test. You can determine the efficiency of your AC by comparing the temperature of the air blowing out of the vent, to the temperature of the air being drawn into the system.

Hold a digital thermometer up facing the air coming out of the vent. Wait until the thermometer has a steady read. Now, repeat these steps for the return vent. You can also use a kitchen thermometer if that is all you have. Just set it inside where the air can blow on it.

Compare the temperatures from both readings. On a properly running air conditioning system, the air coming out should be 20 degrees cooler than the air going in. If the reading is less than 20 degrees difference, it could mean that the unit needs refrigerant or minor repair. It would be hard to properly diagnose the system without an inspection, but this is a common reason for an air conditioner not to be cooling efficiently.

Depending on the results of your test, you should consider contacting a heating and air conditioning company to inspect and repair the system before the problem gets worse. Fixing the issue now would be less costly than waiting until it stops working altogether.

Additional Signs of AC problems:

  • More humidity indoors
  • Increased utility bills
  • Frequent repair visits
  • AC cycles frequently

Call Us for Assistance

At Hometown Heating & Air of Cedarburg, WI, we proudly serve our community by ensuring the comfort of our customers. We have an A+rating from the BBB and received the Super Service Award from Angie’s List in 2020, as well as the Best of Home Advisor Award. We pride ourselves on service and our team of NATE-certified technicians can fix just about any problem you have with your air conditioner.

We provide heating and cooling repair, indoor air quality checks, and system maintenance for the residents of Cedarburg and the surrounding area.

If your air conditioner is not as efficient as it could be, contact us today to schedule a repair service.

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