If Your A/C Isn’t Living up to Its SEER, Look for the Cause

A high-efficiency air conditioner can be a great long-term investment. This is especially true in Florida’s hot climate where its heavy use means the savings on energy bills will add up quickly. The savings are maximized if the air conditioner is achieving the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) that it was measured to have.

There are a number of factors that can keep your air conditioner from performing at its maximum efficiency.

Refrigerant charge

To achieve its SEER, an air conditioner needs the right operating conditions. One of the most important of these is the refrigerant charge. Improper installations commonly supply an improper refrigerant charge to air conditioners. This is especially true for those that have long refrigerant lines because the amount of refrigerant required is dependent upon the length of the refrigerant lines. Your air conditioner also can develop an improper refrigerant charge if there’s a leak in the system.

Duct leakage

Ductwork can be a major source of energy losses due to poorly sealed duct joints. Air leakage in ductwork allows cooled air to escape before it can be routed to where it’s needed. It also allows hot air into the air supply for the air conditioner, which takes more energy to cool down. It may also unbalance the supply and return flow. This can pressurize certain parts of the house, increasing the home’s draftiness, which causes losses of cool air and allows for the infiltration of hot air.

Airflow

An air conditioner requires a certain amount of airflow for efficient operation. If your ductwork has so much debris in it that it’s affecting the airflow, consider a duct cleaning. You should also make sure air registers remain free of obstructions, such as furniture, and that the air filter is replaced regularly as part of the air conditioner’s regular maintenance.

A professional maintenance visit will include checks to see if any of these problems are keeping your air conditioner from achieving its SEER. For further information, contact Climatic Conditioning Co., Inc. We serve homeowners throughout Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch.