How Your Inefficient Air Conditioner is Stealing Your Money

Posted: 2018-08-23

Every homeowner desires to have a comfortably cool home, especially when summer is at its hottest. But running an inefficient cooling system makes it difficult to attain that goal and can cause your utility bills to soar.

Regular preventive maintenance from your trusted HVAC company in Shoreview MN like Four Seasons Air Specialists can allow your air conditioner to operate in optimum condition, which helps you save money in the process.

Here are a few signs that your air conditioner runs inefficiently.

High Electricity Bills

The most common cause of an inefficient air conditioner is a dirty filter, which is responsible for keeping your air handler, ductwork, and indoor coil clean. When your filter is not regularly maintained or replaced, dust and debris can accumulate after so much air is filtered, which restricts airflow throughout your ductwork. Blockages to the airflow will cause your AC to take longer to cool your home. This translates to high electric bills since a restriction in the airflow causes the motors and compressor to overheat.

Failing Parts

As much as you would want to, your air conditioner’s parts aren’t built to last a lifetime. At some point, certain components such as motors, capacitors, and the compressor will fail and cause you to have high electricity bills. When a condenser motor begins to fail, it is unable to effectively remove the heat from your home. The motor working harder and the thermostat not being satisfied causes the motor to run longer than usual. Not only does this cause you to have an increase in your utility bills, it also can ultimately lead to a complete AC breakdown.

Low Refrigerant

The refrigerant is an essential part of the AC system since it transfers heat and removes it from the home. When the refrigerant charge is low, it won’t allow the system to effectively eliminate the heat. Same as having a poor airflow, low refrigerant can cause your power bills to rise since it needs to work harder to satisfy the thermostat. Most of the time, an air conditioner being low on refrigerant is caused by a leak, which can occur throughout the system coils and line sets that transport the refrigerant. Since refrigerant is virtually invisible, professional service is needed to precisely locate the leak, seal it off, and recharge the refrigerant as needed.

Old Unit

Depending on the level of usage and maintenance, residential air conditioners typically last from 10-12 years. Having said that, even if your system is just around eight years old or so, it could suck up to twice the electricity that even a low-end new unit would consume. Old air conditioners usually operate at or below 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is the cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more savings you get on utilities.

These days, the minimum allowed SEER rating for new air conditioners is 13.00. That is up to 30 percent less energy consumption and 30 percent lower cooling bills than a model installed less than a decade ago.

Also, as of 2010, manufacturers are obliged to use a new kind of refrigerant that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer. That means that trying to source an older kind of refrigerant today will cost you more since it’s about to become obsolete.

Trying to keep up with an air conditioner that’s more than eight years old can mean more trouble than getting a new one altogether. That’s because certain parts will soon fail and would require replacements. The problem is, the older the AC is, the harder it is to get replacement parts.

Need Help? Call the Pros

If you want to receive an expert advice concerning your inefficient air conditioner, Four Seasons Air Specialists is the company to call. We are a legitimate, licensed distributor, installer, and repair contractor of Lennox-branded air conditioners, which are considered some of the best in the world. Because of our dedication to delivering outstanding customer service and excellent workmanship, we have been designated as a Lennox Premier Dealer, an honor given to contractors that emanate excellence and employ good business practices. We are your friendly Shoreview AC installation company serving you since 1974.