By Dave Trosdahl on July 22nd, 2007
This article outlines 3 steps a homeowner can take when trying to determine why their central air system is unable to keep up on a hot summer day.
Step 1. Clean your air ducts. It is important to understand that your air duct system was never designed to have upwards of 40 pounds of dust accumulated inside. All this dust, dirt and construction debri will restrict the air flow causing your a/c system to work harder and less efficiently than it was originally designed for.
Step 2. Clean your a-coil. A dirty a-coil will often times “freeze-up” causing your central air system to run non-stop. The more it runs the more it will continue to “freeze-up”. Eventually damaging HVAC components. Fortunately, the same folks that clean your air ducts should be able to clean the a-coil as well. Normally, the a-coil can be properly cleaned for $100-$150 extra. Generally, a good air duct cleaning company will also clean your a/c condenser, which is located outside, for little or no additional cost.
Step 3. With your air ducts cleaned, and your a/c system cleaned and inspected, you should now have a like-new a/c system. If it is still unable to keep up, you will now need to call a licensed HVAC repair technician. They will completely examine the various components of your central air system and offer a solution. Usually their suggestions will range from a simple repair like re-charging the system, to replacement or even a complete re-design.
While it is possible to call the HVAC repair person out first, we don’t recommend it. Often times a simple cleaning of the entire HVAC system is all that is needed. Also, if you happen to hire an unscrupulous HVAC repairman, they may convince you to replace expensive parts when all that was needed was a simple air duct cleaning and an a/c clean and check.