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How Uneven Cooling Can Happen in Your Home

airflow-diagramYou can have a working air conditioning system sending out cooled air to your house, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a house that’s cooled evenly throughout. You can expect rooms with more sunlight exposure to feel warmer, for example. However, a well-installed and designed HVAC system should be able to give you a distribution of conditioned air around the house that will maintain comfort levels, no matter how hot it gets outside

If you’ve already enjoyed a few years of quality performance from your home’s AC, what does it mean when you start to notice hot spots around the house? Uneven cooling can come from simple problems, but it can also indicate a need for air conditioning repair in Chicago, IL or even that it’s time to arrange to have a new AC put in place.

Check on the air filter first

When you think your AC is unevenly cooling the house (and you’ve already ruled out trouble in the rooms like air gaps around the windows and shut room vents), we recommend you check the air filter on the HVAC cabinet before doing anything else.

This air filter protects the interior of the AC from dust and debris, and if it isn’t changed every one to three months, it will become clogged enough that it will cut down on airflow through the ventilation system. This will cause many problems, starting with uneven cooling. Put in a new filter and set reminders for yourself to change it regularly throughout the summer.

Potential repair troubles

Several malfunctions with the air conditioner might be behind the uneven cooling. All these problems need a professional to repair them.

  • Broken air handler motor: The blower fan in the air handler is what sends warm air past the evaporator coil in the AC to cool it and then onward into the ventilation system. If the motor malfunctions and the fan loses power, airflow will drop in the ducts and create uneven cooling.
  • Leaking refrigerant: If the refrigerant in the air conditioner starts to leak out of the refrigerant lines, the evaporator coil will start to lose its ability to absorb heat from the air pushed past it. Low refrigerant can lead to a complete air conditioner breakdown, and uneven cooling is often a warning this is happening.
  • Faulty zone controls: Does your home have a zone control system that allows you to change the temperatures in some areas of the house separate from the others? If it does, problems with the dampers or the room thermostats can block cooling to certain areas.

Failing air conditioner

The biggest potential cause for uneven cooling is an air conditioning system that’s over-the-hill and ready for a replacement. For an air conditioner that’s more than 15 years in service, uneven cooling is a flashing warning sign that the system can no longer keep up with household demand. An HVAC technician can inspect the system and tell you if it’s more cost-effective to repair the unit or put in a new one.

ServiceMax is open 24/7—All day, every day! Schedule service to improve your home cooling in Chicagoland.

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