The middle of summer is absolutely the worst time to have your commercial air conditioner break down on you. You’ve probably already taken steps to make sure that doesn’t happen, since no one likes spending their workday in an unconditioned building. Still, an air conditioner doesn’t need to break down in order to cause problems. There are plenty of ways that your air conditioner’s efficiency can be negatively affected, even if the system is still technically working. Have a look at the following ways that your air conditioner can lose efficiency, and how to restore it.
Does your air conditioner make use of ducts? If so, then you should probably have a technician take a look at them sooner rather than later. Leaky ducts are a massive drain on air conditioner efficiency. The US Department of Energy estimates that the average air conditioner loses up to 30% of its output to duct leaks every time it’s used! That’s roughly a third of your total system output that might be going to waste, which you are still paying for. Make sure that you have your ducts sealed or repaired as necessary to prevent this from becoming a problem.
Refrigerant is the fluid the air conditioner uses to absorb heat from inside the building and release it outside. The air conditioner relies on the same level of refrigerant throughout its life, recycling it back and forth from installation to replacement. The only time that the system should need new refrigerant is if it develops a leak, which is fairly common. Refrigerant leaks will cause the system’s output capacity to drop lower and lower, along with the falling refrigerant level. If the leak isn’t patched, and the lost refrigerant replaced, it can result in the entire system breaking down. Make sure that you call for professional repairs if your system doesn’t seem to be blowing as much cold air as it normally does, or is leaking fluid.
Your air conditioner might be the top-of-the-line, and perfectly healthy, but if you’re using an old thermostat you might still be wasting a lot of energy. Older thermostats suffer a decline in efficiency as they wear out, just like air conditioners. The older the thermostat, the more prone it’s going to be to waste output turning the system on or off later than it should. Make sure that your thermostat is in just as good shape as your air conditioner to avoid this issue.
These are just a few of the ways that various parts of your building can affect the efficiency of your air conditioner. If you’re concerned about the efficiency of your system, and you want to make sure that it’s as high as possible, we recommend that you schedule preventive maintenance every year with a professional contractor you trust.