Did you recently purchase a new home and now face cooling costs far higher than you were anticipating? Your inspector should've checked that the air conditioning system was working during the buying process, though there are ways an underperforming system can slip through unnoticed. And there are other maintenance and functional problems that can create more work for your cooling system.
Here are three potential reasons your new home has higher cooling costs than other homes in the area.
When you buy a new home, you should call a heating and air conditioner company for a service call. Most HVAC companies, such as Hallmark Service Company, offer an annual maintenance special that includes the basics. Changing or cleaning the filter, cleaning the condensing unit, and cleaning the coils are a few of the services.
After the initial maintenance, you need to keep up with changing or cleaning the filters on your own. Ask the technician how often you need to change the filters or consult your owner's manual for instructions.
You can also easily keep the condensing unit clean after the service call. Brush any branches or large debris off of the exterior grate. Carefully remove a grate, consulting your manual to see precisely how to do this with your unit, and use a hose to spray through the gates from the inside. Avoid getting the water down into the bottom of the unit.
Problems with the ductwork mean that a perfectly functioning air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to try and cool your house to your desired temperature. Ductwork fixes can become expensive, but the cost will pay off over time in your lowered electricity bills.
The existing ducts can be improperly placed or sized from when the air conditioner was installed. This can lead to air having difficulties traveling through your home. If you have certain sections of your home that are far warmer than others, this could be the problem.
Duct leaks are also possible even in properly placed ductwork. The joints can separate and allow some of the cold air to release into your walls rather than into your rooms. So your unit will keep pushing out cold air, losing part of it each time, until your temperature lowers.
Wrong Type of Unit
Was your home previously a duplex or was there an addition built on recently? The central air conditioner might not be strong enough to cool the existing living space. Call for an HVAC service call to see if the air conditioner is strong enough and if enough ductwork was run in the new sections to sufficiently cool the house.
Do you have a single-stage air conditioner that only has fully off or fully on positions? You might want to consider spending the money on a two-stage system, which allows you to have a middle setting of low cooling when its warm but not sweltering hot. The two-stage system means you don't have to turn the air conditioner on to full power to simply cool down the interior by a few degrees. This middle temperature setting can save a great deal of energy costs.