Sometimes you can have an AC system that does not seem to be running at its optimal level. It could, for example, run all the time, or you could see your cooling costs climb without a corresponding climb in temperatures. You might think that you have no choice but to have your system repaired. In some cases, however, you might be able to improve the function of your system and lower your costs simply by taking steps to optimize the function of your system. 

Improving the Function of Condenser Coils

Located on the outside of your house, condenser coils are exposed to two conditions that can cause problems for your system:

1. Gunk Build-up—Dirt and grime can build up on your condenser coils over time. As more and more grime coats the individual fins that make up your coils, it will reduce airflow. Without proper airflow, your coils will struggle to function properly, and your overall system efficiency can be reduced by as much as 37%. Use a coil cleaner and a stiff-bristle brush to remove stuck-on grime and restore airflow. 

2. Encroachment—If plants grow right next to your condenser coils, they too can reduce airflow and decrease coil performance. To preserve proper airflow keep plants at least a couple feet back from the coils. Periodically check the coils and cut down or uproot encroaching plants. 

Duct Sealing

Though not a mechanical component of an AC system, AC ducts can still have a noticeable impact on overall system performance. Specifically, ducts can develop leaks over time, and as these leaks syphon off airflow, they reduce the volume of air available to cool your home. Less volume means your system has to run longer and harder to keep your home comfortable. In fact, leaky ducts can decrease your overall system efficiency by up to 40%.

If you have exposed ducts running through your attic or crawlspace, you can use a stick of incense and a marker to locate leaks in your system. Simply make a mark on your ducts wherever air leaking from the ducts disturbs the smoke curling off the incense. Paint duct mastic over any leaks thus discovered to seal your ducts. On the other hand, if your ducts are encased inside the walls of your home, you will have to call in professionals to find and make repairs. 

A 40% loss in AC efficiency can really make a dent in your budget. In order to keep your system running at its optimum level take the time to inspect coils and ducts on your own and troubleshoot whatever issues you find. You don't have to be a trained HVAC technician to keep coils clean and seal exposed ducts. For more information or assistance, contact AC unit repair experts, like those at Pristine Air Conditioning Corp.