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Three Ducted Air Conditioner Faults That Are Inflating Your Annual Energy Bill

Are you getting a higher energy bill in the summer than you usually do? Do you suspect that your ducted air conditioner is the culprit? Faulty air conditioner components can cause the unit to consume more energy than it should when cooling. Luckily, by resolving the underlying issues, you can restore the unit's efficiency and lower the annual cooling costs. Below are three potential faults to look out for in your air conditioner.

Overheating Compressor

The compressor acts as the engine of your ducted air conditioner. It pressurizes the refrigerant, allowing it to move between the indoor and outdoor coils and cool the air in the house. The compressor is a mechanical component, and it can overheat for the following reasons:

  • A faulty blower fan 
  • Clogged air filters 
  • Clogged ductwork
  • Damaged compressor components

Compressor overheating causes the air conditioner to shut off prematurely to prevent damage to the components. This causes the unit to turn on and off at close intervals. Consequently, more energy is needed to power the compressor and other electrical components.

Low Refrigerant

Air conditioner refrigerant draws heat from the air and releases it outdoors. Air conditioners don't typically run low on refrigerant. However, if the refrigerant line has a small hole or is worn, the fluid will leak. There will be little refrigerant to draw heat from the indoor air. As a result, the air conditioner will take longer to cool down the entire house, which will increase energy consumption. Low refrigerant can also cause the compressor to overheat, leading to short cycling and power wastage.

Leaking Ductwork

A ducted air conditioning system is a recirculating pump that cools air and pumps it back into the home. The air in the room is pushed out through the return vents and sent into the system for cooling. If there is a leak in the ductwork, the air supplied to the room will be less in volume. For a balanced air supply, there should be an equal amount of air entering and leaving the cooling system at any given time. 

Therefore, if the ducts have leaks, there will be less airflow in the room. Low airflow means rooms will take longer to cool down. Consequently, your unit will consume more energy to cool the entire house. This problem may also cause an airflow imbalance and cold spots in the affected rooms. Therefore, repair and seal leaking ducts to lower energy bills and improve airflow.

If your air conditioner is consuming a lot of energy to cool your home, you should be concerned. The underlying issues may eventually lower the air quality and affect indoor comfort. Contact an AC contractor for proper diagnosis and ac repairs.