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What’s Causing My AC Bills to Rise?

outside ac unit sitting on pile of money, on a white backgroundThe simple answer to this question is, “your air conditioner isn’t working as efficiently as it needs to.” Well, that’s great and all, but what’s causing your cooling system to behave inefficiently? That’s a question we’ll answer below. First, we want to stress that, when it comes to air conditioning services, it’s essential that you hire a pro, particularly for diagnosing a problem to begin with.

Symptoms of an inefficient air conditioner can include things like warm air coming from the vents, reduced airflow, and noises that indicate the AC is struggling to turn on or stay on. But just because you know this, doesn’t mean you can do anything about it, at least, not without the right professional assistance.

The Causes of AC Inefficiency

The causes of efficiency loss and increased utility bills can vary among a number of components and repair options. The most common, however, are typically:

  • Refrigerant Loss: There’s a misconception among homeowners that refrigerant is something that has to be refilled—recharged—on a routine basis. But the truth is that if you’re losing refrigerant, you have a leak. And that leak can and will be detrimental to the performance of your cooling system. This problem is typically indicated by the presence of ice on the coils and reduced cooling power.
  • Component Overheating: Your fan motor can be the culprit, here, and it might need to be replaced. Otherwise, the heat that it’s generating can bleed into the air and therefore create more heat for your air conditioner to remove from the indoor air, effectively lowering the efficiency of the entire system.
  • Breached Ductwork: Damaged ductwork can impact the efficiency of your cooling system in a couple different ways. It can pull hot air into the system, which is of course inefficient. Or, it can pull cool air out, into areas that are unoccupied. This could include your attic, crawlspace, or any other inaccessible place where your ductwork is installed.
  • Poor Insulation: Insulation can degrade over time. Or if you never had proper insulation to begin with, it can begin to impact how well your air conditioner can do its job. Insulation helps not only keep the warm air in during our brief winters, but it keeps the heat out during the summer, which is, of course, vital to your comfort.
  • Obstructions Around the Outside Unit: If the hot air pulled from indoors can’t be properly expelled due to obstructions like debris, leaves, lawn clippings, and mulch, then the heated air will remain stuck in your system and can cause issues.

When your air conditioner is not permitted to work as efficiently as possible, the air being blown into the home will gradually get warmer, causing the cooling system to work harder and harder to do its job. It’s only natural that this will contribute to a spike in your energy bills. Caring for your air conditioner properly with routine maintenance and repair follow-ups is the best way to ensure the efficiency, and therefore the lower monthly costs, of running your air conditioner.

IERNA’s Heating & Cooling is your trusted resource for expert air conditioning services throughout the Tampa area and beyond. Contact us today!

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