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Reasons for An Under-Performing AC System


Does it ever seem like the air conditioner isn’t performing like it used to? It’s not just the imagination or impatience at work—a declining air conditioner is a very real symptom of a system in need of replacement.

A good way to confirm any suspicions is by monitoring the cooling bills. Any gradual increases that correlate with the decrease in performance will be a strong indication that there’s a problem with the system.

Here are some of the reasons for that and what can be done about it:

It Simply Needs a Tune-Up

Air conditioners in Rochelle gradually decline after each year of use, just like any machine. And just like any machine, they are going to need some maintenance to get them performing at their best once again.

But, unlike other machines, the benefits of AC maintenance can almost immediately be observed through the cooling bill. After the tune-up, there should be a notable improvement in the cooling-related expenses. If not, it might be because…

The Air Conditioner Is Too Old

No matter how many repairs or tune-ups an air conditioner receives, it won’t make much difference if that AC is already past the point of no return.

Typically, an air conditioner can last between 10–20 years, usually falling around the 15-year range. It’s recommended to start having the AC inspected for age-related issues as early as 10 years old.

As soon as the cost of maintaining the AC exceeds half the cost of a new unit, it will be time for a new one.

Air Filter Needs Changing

Does it feel like the air conditioner is having trouble cooling all of the rooms in the home? Perhaps, upon placing a hand up to the air vents, the airflow feels weaker than usual?

These air flow issues could be caused by an air filter in need of changing. A dirty air filter can be responsible for a range of issues, some of which can restrict airflow.

Duct Leaks

After looking the air conditioning unit up and down, it might not reveal any issues. Yet, there are still airflow issues that seem to prevent the home from feeling cool. What’s the deal?

In this case, it would be an issue in the duct. Namely, duct leaks. Tears and leaks can develop in the ductwork overtime, and it can get bad enough to suck up about 30% of all the air that flows through them. If a majority of that air is the conditioned air from the AC, it wouldn’t be surprising to feel less cooling and to see a higher cooling bill.

Refrigerant Leaks

The last issue on this list is the refrigerant leak. While they’re not entirely common, it wouldn’t be right to exclude them from this list.

If the air conditioner’s refrigerant lines are made of copper, there’s a chance they can develop pinhole leaks due to corrosion. These leaks will gradually expand and lose refrigerant from the system. Without enough refrigerant in the system, the AC will struggle to perform.

Can’t figure out what’s wrong with the air conditioner? Contact Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators today to schedule a service.

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