During the sweltering summer months here in Dartmouth, NS, your air conditioner keeps your home feeling like a cool, comforting oasis. However, it can only do that if it’s running efficiently. Eventually, factors like age, wear-and-tear, and broken components will cause your AC to run less efficiently than before. This can be a slow spiral into higher energy bills and an uncomfortably warm, humid house. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep your air conditioner running efficiently all summer long. But first, you’ll have to recognize the signs that your AC isn’t as energy efficient as it could be.

Here are eight warning signs that your AC is no longer efficient and could use maintenance, repairs, or a replacement:

1. The Energy Bills Are Unusually High

Has your energy bill suddenly skyrocketed? If so, your air conditioner might be to blame. As your AC begins to run less efficiently, whether it’s due to old age, lack of maintenance, or a repair situation, your energy bills will creep up. This is because certain factors, like old age and wear and tear, will cause your AC to work harder to achieve your desired temperature. As it consumes more electricity to keep up with your needs, you’ll notice a telltale uptick in your cooling costs.

2. Inconsistent Temperature Throughout Your Home

With your air conditioner running, you shouldn’t notice a huge difference in temperature as you walk from room to room in your house. But if it feels like certain rooms or floors are hotter and muggier than others, that means your AC isn’t doing its job correctly. Your system could be damaged, aging, or too small to adequately cool down your home. A trained technician will be able to diagnose the exact issue and let you know what your best option is.

3. Your AC Is Over 10 Years Old

Just like your other appliances, your air conditioner will age and lose efficiency over time. At components begin to wear out, your AC will draw on more energy to maintain the same level of performance. While maintenance and repairs can help mitigate this issue for a while, eventually, you’ll need a replacement air conditioner. The good news is that modern air conditioners are designed with cutting-edge energy efficiency technology. You’ll have better performance and lower cooling bills than ever before!

4. You Have the AC Repair Tech on Speed Dial

Even dependable air conditions need repairs every once in a while, but frequent repairs are cause for alarm. If it feels like your AC is barely up and running again before the next crisis, then it’s probably about time for a replacement. Repairs are costly, and so are the underlying problems. An AC that needs repairs is not operating at maximum efficiency and performance, so you’ll have to add high energy costs on top of repair costs. Having an unreliable air conditioner can get expensive fast. Talk to one of our techs about upgrading to a newer, dependable unit. Shines Energy is a Lennox Premier Dealer, and we carry EnergyStar products to maximize your efficiency!

5. Your AC Unit Runs Constantly

A healthy air conditioner runs on what we call “cycles.” A cycle is when the AC powers up to cool down your home, then turns off to rest once it hits your desired temperature. This is the most effective and efficient way for your AC to keep your home cool. If you notice your AC running around the clock, that’s a sign that it’s having trouble keeping up with the temperature. This particular issue can get expensive quickly because the unit will be consuming energy 24/7 instead of its usual 15-minute cycles.

6. House Feels Humid While AC Is Running

Does your house feel damp and sticky while the AC is running? Normally, the air conditioner should help divert moisture from inside your house to the outdoors. It does this by condensing moisture when air moves over the cold evaporator coils. But if the coil isn’t getting cold enough, it can’t do that. A refrigerant leak may be to blame, but a technician will have to take a look at the unit to make sure another maintenance issue isn’t to blame.

One side effect of having a humid house is that you’ll have to lower your thermostat by a few degrees to feel comfortable. This will cause your AC to work harder and consume more energy, making it less efficient. Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem for a technician to fix. They’ll make sure your refrigerant levels are correct, any leaks are patched up, and that the evaporator coils are clean.

7. AC Doesn’t Get Regular Maintenance

Your air conditioner needs regular maintenance if it’s going to perform at peak efficiency. Without an annual tune-up and quarterly DIY maintenance, its performance will suffer. We recommend changing the air filter once per quarter and cleaning the external unit at the beginning and end of summer. We also recommend scheduling a professional tune-up in the spring to prepare the unit for the summer heat.

8. You’re Cooling the Entire House

Most traditional air conditioners are part of a single system designed to cool the entire house at once. However, this can be majorly energy inefficient, especially if your house is large, multi-level, or drafty. This last issue can be especially problematic for older homes which are naturally draftier than newly constructed houses.

Cooling down an entire home at once eats up a ton of energy. Newer cooling systems feature zoned cooling where you can set different temperatures for different areas within your home. For example, you can set the living area of your home to feel cooler during the day and the sleeping area to cool down at night. Even raising the temperature of unused rooms by one or two degrees when you’re not using them can drastically improve your AC’s efficiency.

Dartmouth’s Cooling Experts

During the hot summer months, your AC will be working overtime to keep your family cool and comfortable at home. And while it’s nice to come home to a cool space, it’s less nice to open a whopping energy bill at the end of the month. Luckily, you can save money and help the environment by keeping your AC energy efficient. Knowing your AC’s level of energy efficiency is as easy as looking for the signs mentioned in this article. If anything we discussed today applies to your AC, or if you simply suspect your unit isn’t as efficient as it once was, we can help!

Shines Energy has provided top-notch heating and cooling services to homes in Dartmouth since our founding in 2013. Whether you need maintenance, repairs, or replacement service for your air conditioner or furnace, we’re the right team for the job. Our technicians are NATE certified and can expertly service every make and model of furnace. We’re also proud to be BBB-accredited with an A+ rating, Red Seal Certified, and recipients of the Centurion Award three times in a row. When you partner with us, you can look forward to stellar cooling service and customer service.

To schedule your cooling service appointment, call us today!

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