What Is Cooling and Air Loss?
Cooling loss happens when an air conditioner is not running at peak efficiency or when something is impeding that efficiency. This can include damaged or dirty ductwork, improper home insulation and poorly sealed windows and doors. Air loss occurs when the conditioned air coming through the system leaks out and is not delivered to where it needs to go. The most common cause of air loss is leaky air ducts, but air loss can also occur through a poorly insulated, vented or sealed attic and if windows and doors aren’t completely sealed.
Both cooling and air loss will result in increased utility bills and discomfort in your home. Unfortunately, setting your thermostat to a lower temperature and running your cooling system more often won't resolve the issue and can add to the utility costs.
Here are tips for preventing cooling and air loss and how to keep your home cool during the summer.
How to Prevent Cooling and Air Loss
If the air conditioner is running regularly and your home is still too hot, you are probably dealing with cooling or air loss - or both. When it comes to preventing cooling and air loss, there are several things you can do. In addition to scheduling annual AC maintenance with our Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar team, utilizing ceiling fans, keeping the sun out with blinds and curtains and installing energy-efficient windows will also help. We have the expertise to help you prevent cooling loss and keep your home comfortable all summer long.
Keep reading to learn more.
Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned
Dirty air ducts can negatively impact the efficiency of the cooling system. Dirty air ducts can cause air quality issues and also clog air filters and inhibit the system's ability to push cool air throughout the home. Furthermore, dust buildup in ducts can deteriorate the ductwork, leading to poor duct balancing, damaged seals and air loss.
Over time, the following can buildup in your air ducts:
- Dirt and dust
- Pollen and other allergens
- Mold and mildew
- Pet dander
Professional duct cleaning can make a huge difference in the performance of an air conditioner and is a good first step to addressing cooling issues. In addition to reducing the amount of energy needed to move conditioned air through your ductwork, there may also be a reduction in allergy symptoms, fewer odors and less dust and dirt throughout the home.
If it has been over a year since your last professional duct cleaning, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Our team can thoroughly inspect and clean your duct system and help you address any cooling loss and efficiency issues.
Have Your Ducts Professionally Sealed
Air duct systems that are not professionally sealed or are in disrepair can account for up to 30% of air loss from your system. As air is forced through your duct system, it gets lost through leaks, holes and improperly connected ductwork. This can significantly impact the comfort of your home and your AC's ability to keep you cool.
You may need new duct sealing or duct repair if:
- Rooms are difficult to cool, despite being connected to the central air system
- Some rooms home are stuffy, while others are cool and comfortable
- The AC is consistently running, but never reaches the temperature you set
- There is visible damage, holes or gaps in the ductwork
- The ductwork runs through the attic or garage and isn't insulated
Because most of your ductwork is likely hidden behind walls or in crawlspaces, it can be difficult to tackle duct sealing on your own. It is recommended that you work with an HVAC professional experienced in duct sealing, like ours at Valley. Not only will our technicians be able to identify all points of cooling and air loss, but we can help you ensure that any other repair issues are also resolved.
Have Your Ducts Balanced
Much like duct cleaning, duct balancing is also often overlooked and can significantly impact home comfort. If you experience inconsistent temperatures or areas that tend to be stuffier than others, it may be a sign that your ducts need to be balanced. Duct balancing (also called air balancing) is a process by our technicians to review the airflow in your home and determines why you are experiencing uneven airflow. Frequently, airflow issues are caused by air loss or leaks in your system.
During the duct balancing service, we will review your ductwork and how you are using your HVAC fans, thermostat and other related appliances to ensure everything is working together in harmony. We can also provide you with our expert guidance on how to support your AC system further.
Make Sure Your Home Is Properly Insulated
Your home's insulation keep you warm in the winter and also helps keep your home cool in the summer. A properly insulated home provides immeasurable support to your air conditioning system. Not only does insulation stop the hot air outside from seeping in, it also stops your conditioned air from escaping, and keeping your home cooler longer without having to run the AC as much.
One of the most important areas of the home to have well-insulated is the attic or crawlspace. As the sun beats down on the roof, attic space can get super-heated. Without proper insulation and sealing, this heat can escape down into the home, making it very uncomfortable. Similarly, it is important to ensure that your attic is well ventilated and installing an attic fan can help you keep the airflow moving and the summer heat out of your home.
At Valley, we know how important it is that you get the most out of your cooling system. Taking these steps to prevent cooling and air loss can make a world of difference when it comes to your comfort and your monthly cooling expenses. To learn more, contact us online.