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How To Keep Your Air Conditioner At Peak Performance

Performance issues hound all types of air conditioners, from window units to centralized systems. The good news is that this common problem can be resolved without much effort. The following can serve as a guide for your AC troubleshooting:

1. Check the filters for dirt and airflow.

All types of air conditioners rely on the filters to block dirt and other impurities. If these get clogged, then airflow will be restricted, efficiency will go down, and air may not be cooled as well as it should be. Make sure that you clean these filters from time to time. Keep an eye on them so that you can act accordingly. For central AC, replacement is usually once a month for those dealing with pets and continuous operations. According to HVAC Denver, 90% of the calls they receive at his company are about systems with performance issues due to dirty filters. Taking care of this vastly reduces the risk of developing problems.

2. Reduce direct sunlight on the AC unit.

The placement of window units is essential to its performance. If it is situated in an area that receives large amounts of direct sunlight, then it will have a harder time trying to cool down the house. Whenever possible, the unit should be relocated to a spot that is out of the reach of the sun. Another strategy is to block sunlight using curtains and shades, so the room does not heat up too much. The same strategy works as well for central systems.

3. Inspect the room for air leaks.

There will be some space between the window AC and its perimeter. This can be closed off using sealants. See if there are any holes or gaps around this unit. Reseal as needed.

Senior air conditioner tester Chris Regan says that the majority of modern window units include insulation panels that are meant to go over the plastic side panels. While this is a great addition, optimal efficiency can only be achieved with full weather-stripping coverage around the sides. The best results can be achieved through the use of the manufacturer’s safety and installation hardware.

4. Observe the unit for vibrations.

There are plenty of moving parts in an air conditioner, so does generate quite a bit of sound. You can hear this from the hum of the fan and the constant switching of the compressor. It is normal to hear them up to a certain level. However, odd sounds and extremely loud noises should not be present. For example, vibrating noise is indicative of a faulty installation. Check the positioning and read the installation guide again for missed steps.

5. Verify the thermostat settings.

Using a programmable thermostat makes it easier to manage the household temperature. You can be sure that it will always be comfortable when you’re inside the home. The machine will automatically adjust the temperature during times when you are outside. The thermostat is responsible for sensing environmental conditions and reacting accordingly. Keep this out of direct sunlight so as not to skew the readings.

6. Clean the registers.

Forced air HVAC systems are prone to dust build-up. Therefore, you must ensure that the registers get regular cleaning to prevent this. Remove any object that could block the flow of air through these registers like furniture pieces.

7. Clear the perimeter of the compressor.

The compressor will be located outside the house in a central air system. This area should be monitored for debris, plant growth, and other unwanted objects. A minimum clearance of 2 feet should be maintained around the perimeter, while these should at a minimum of 5 feet between the top and the trees.

8. Schedule an annual tune-up.

Homeowners can only do so much. Some of the work requires trained hands and minds. Experienced HVAC technicians should perform the inspection and tune-up on an annual basis. These will prevent breakdowns by catching problems at their earliest stages. They will lubricate moving parts and recharge the system if required.

Air Conditioning System Repair

The state of Denver tends to have very chilly winters. Cold winters translate into summers that are only moderated by the breeze. To bear the heat, keep your air conditioner in excellent repair. Look for the signs of wear and malfunction as they are listed below:

Warm Air On Cold Setting

The air conditioning system should deliver cool air until the room has reached the desired temperature. If it is blowing warm air instead, take a look at the thermostat. If it is set to cool, then look at the temperature. If it is set very low and still blowing warm air, then either air circulation or the refrigerant cycle is to blame.

A filter can be replaced by the homeowner, but all the running systems can only be worked on by an HVAC expert. A license is required to work with refrigerant, and electrical parts require expertise with the wiring. The sensors are sensitive and are touchy to calibrate.

Detecting Poor Air Flow

If the air is not blowing or else if the HVAC unit is making a loud noise, it probably means that the airway in the house is obstructed and the fan struggles to move air. The most likely cause is a saturated filter, which is bad enough to prevent airflow and will result in clogs of lint flying through the system. Other causes might be something blocking the air ducts, or the fan might be damaged.

The less common problem is that the HVAC unit is insufficient to move air through a lengthy network of ducts. In this case, it is possible to boost circulation with an accessory ventilator. It helps to change inside air with outside air and also takes some of the load of the HVAC fan. Zoning systems are another solution that controls airflow through a duct network.

Study The Length of The Cycles

It is very rare for an HVAC unit to run constantly when trying to cool a house. It might work longer in hot weather, but a well-insulated house should not heat up very quickly. If it is running longer than usual, there might be a refrigerant leak. If the system constantly starts and stops, then there might be something wrong with the control system.

Solutions range from replacing an old air conditioner to fixing it. Most recent models are fairly easy to return to good efficiency, but it might mean replacing the refrigerant or the compressor. Replacing the compressor is possibly a bargain compared to a new air conditioner.

Study The Humidity In The House

Air is bound to be humid, but this should not be true inside a house. An air conditioner strips excess moisture from indoor airs simply by cooling it. This condenses water moisture which then drains away outside. If the air inside feels saturated, then there is likely something wrong with the air conditioner.

It is possible to check the moisture drain yourself, but a repair person should also look at the job if the unit has not been repaired in a while. He will look at all the possible causes, which might range from clogging to a need for new refrigerant. If the problem requires a calibration, trust the guy who has the right tools.

Inspect For Water Leaks

Most HVAC units have a dedicated water drain for condensation. If water is draining into the house, then that is a sign of trouble. Moisture circulating through the air ducts might lead to mold growth. If water is pooling around the edge of an HVAC unit instead of draining through the dedicated tube, then there is something wrong with the drain.

Call your local, friendly air conditioner repairman if your unit has any such issues or else is making weird noises or emitting bad odors. A clunky fan is inefficient and might further break. A bad odor might mean that natural gas or refrigerant is leaking, and this is bad business as well.


Our heating and cooling contractors will bring you a beer when installing your air conditioner. Do you know any other HVAC company that does that? I think not. Apart from the beer, we’re also great at installing and repairing furnaces and air conditioners. It’s excellent to have a high-efficiency system when trying to save money!