How do you know if your HVAC system is working as it should? The Sacramento-based air conditioning experts at Bonney are here with insight. Here is what you can expect from your AC unit when it is working well…and what to expect when it isn’t.
Energy Efficiency Of Functioning AC Units
Naturally, you can expect your air conditioner to drive your energy usage up; however, it should not send your bills through the roof. It can be challenging to determine exactly how much an air conditioning system should cost you to run. The variables include:
- The Temperatures Outside: The warmer it is outside, the more energy your system will consume to keep the temperature inside comfortable.
- The Efficiency and Age of Your Unit: The Department of Energy estimates that having a newer, high-efficiency air conditioning system could reduce your AC costs by 20% to 40%. If your unit is old and inefficient, you can expect your monthly costs to be a bit higher.
- Seasonal Impact: It can be hard to tell if your AC unit is driving your energy bills up or if the summer season is partially to blame. Energy costs are often raised in the summer because there tends to be a higher demand for energy across the nation.
- The Cost of Your Area: Energy costs may vary based on the area you live in. As explained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, these prices are impacted by local pricing regulations, the fuel costs in your areas, and the availability of power plants and fuels.
Take a look at your energy bills from this time last year. You should expect them to still be roughly the same, give or take 10%. Air conditioners that contain any system issues will have to work harder to compensate for lagging parts. This will make your system operate inefficiently and raise your electric bills. If you think your bills are higher than they should be, it may be time for a system upgrade, repair, or tune-up.
AC Noises – Are they Normal?
Air Conditioning noises are often an easy way to indicate when your system is encountering a problem. How do you tell which noises are normal for your system and which are indicating an issue?
New Air Conditioner Noises
The best way to distinguish when a noise is the sign of a problem is to remain aware of the noises your system makes on an average day. When a new noise pops up, this signifies a change in your system. Paying close attention to these noises can help you identify issues early and get them repaired before they become larger problems.
Unusual and Harsh AC Sounds
By the time you buy a home of your own, you may already be familiar with the noises commonly made by functioning air conditioners. If something sounds broken, chances are that it is. For example, a soft humming sound is likely normal whereas a harsh clanking sound is likely the sign of an issue.
Decibel Noise Rating for HVAC Systems
If you are moving into a new home and do not have an idea of what is “normal” for the system, the decibel (dB) rating of your unit may be a good place to start. This is the noise scale used by air conditioning unit manufacturers to measure the volume of sounds they produce. The higher the decibel rating, the louder your system will naturally be.
AC Professional Insight
If you are still unsure if your air conditioner noises are normal, contact an AC technician for insight. A professional can evaluate the noises your system is producing and let you know if anything sounds amiss. If there is an issue, an expert can work with you to find and repair its source.
Air Conditioner Smell
When your air conditioner is well maintained and working properly, it should not produce any unusual smells. As a general rule, if your air conditioner smells funny, it is likely experiencing a problem. AC smells may come from:
- Mold or mildew left in your system by an ineffective drain line
- A burnt-out AC motor
- Poor ventilation and dirty air filters
- An exhaust fluid or gas leak
The needed service may be as small as an air filter change or as large as a needed air conditioner replacement. If you are concerned about the smell your air conditioner is producing, contact a professional for insight and support.
Air Conditioner Effectiveness
What do you expect most from your air conditioning system? At the very least, you should always be able to count on your air conditioner to work effectively. If your AC system is not keeping your home cool, this is a surefire sign that there is a problem with your system. This could be sourced from a range of issues:
- Ductwork problems: Your ductwork distributes the cool air your system produces. When there is a leak or issue with your duct system, your AC will not be able to effectively cool your home.
- Broken part: Any single broken air conditioner part can disturb the entire system functioning. A professional can help you diagnose the issue and get it repaired in no time.
- Refrigerant Levels: Your air conditioning system relies on refrigerant to absorb heat and produce cool air. If your refrigerant has become depleted or you have a refrigerant leak, your system will not be able to function properly. Instead, your AC will begin to feel increasingly less effective until your refrigerant levels are restored and any leaks have been repaired.
- Thermostat Issues: If your thermostat is not properly reading your home’s temperatures, it will not be able to adjust the air according to your system settings. Thermostats need to be calibrated to stay in sync with your AC unit.
- Needed maintenance: Rather than a broken system, your air conditioner may feel less effective because it does not have the care it needs to work at its fullest potential.
- Old system: Every air conditioning unit has a lifespan. As your system grows old, it may become less effective. This is one sign that you need an AC replacement instead of a repair.
Remember, your air conditioner is designed to keep your home cool during warm days—a functioning air conditioning unit will always do just that. An expert can evaluate an ineffective system to locate the source of the problem and complete any needed repairs.
Bonney Air Conditioning Service in Sacramento
If you find that your air conditioning system is not working properly, contact the experts at Bonney. Our AC professionals are here to help homes in the greater Sacramento area, including those in Vacaville, Stockton, Davis, Auburn, Loomis, Placerville, Fairfield, Carmichael, Folsom, Rocklin, and beyond. Make an appointment with Bonney’s AC technicians to get started today!