I lease a 900+ sq. ft. duplex apartment in Fort Worth, Texas. I noticed a few weeks ago that my air did not seem to be blowing as strongly as it normally has done the last few years.
Usually, if the air is running, it blows toward the string hanging down from the ceiling fan in the living room and causes it to stay in motion. That was one indication that it was not blowing as strongly as usual--the string was not moving whilst the air was running. Another indication was that I just did not feel the air blowing as strongly on me sitting in my study or sitting on the sofa in the living room, or even if I held my hands up in the air a few feet from one of the vents. So, I reported the matter to the landlord.
The landlord's contractor came out and checked the air filter, which was very clean, and the outside unit, which the man said was dirty. It did not look dirty to me, however, and the same contractor had been out just a few weeks before to do an annual servicing of the unit, part of which servicing was supposed to have been to clean it. In any case, the man hosed down the unit, but nothing much came out on the ground other than a couple of leafs. Then, he checked the indoor unit in the ceiling and said it looked fine. He said the "split" was about as good as could be expected. I explained to him why I felt something was amiss, but he insisted the unit was functioning as it should. Then, he left.
I still felt something was wrong for all of the reasons I listed above. Then, a couple of weeks or so later, I noticed that the air was also not blowing as cold as it usually does. It seemed hotter inside than it should be especially at night after the sun had been down for hours and the unit had been running non-stop since the morning.
I observed my thermostat and found that if I left the temp set at 76-77, which is where I normally leave it set, by the afternoon, it would be way over 80 inside. I reset the thermostat down to 70 early in the morning to see how cool it would keep the house as the day wore on. By 1:30 p.m. or so, I could feel it becoming hotter in here. By 4:00, with the air having been running non-stop since first thing early in the morning, it was 80 degrees inside. From that point, I watched to see how the indoor temperature might change as the sun went down and the evening wore on.
I observed that the inside temperature by 10:30 p.m. was still 78-79 even though the outside temperature by 6:39 p.m. had dropped to 95. By 12:06 a.m. the next morning, with the unit having continued to run non-stop all day and all night, the inside temperature had finally dropped to 75-76. I reported my findings to the landlord. He denied that there is anything wrong with the air conditioner. He said I cannot expect the indoor temperature to be more than 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. I disagreed with him based on my experience over the last three summers. In previous summers, the inside temperature may not have been able to get much lower than 74-75, but it certainly never rose to 80 or more. Also, in the past summers, once the sun went down, I could feel the indoor temperature start to go down long before midnight.
The upshot is I do not think the air conditioner is running as well as it always has done in the past. The outside unit (Amana) is only three years old. The inside portion is original to the house which I believe is about 20-22 years old. I think it is possible that the indoor portion of the unit may be past the age where it can function well anymore, or perhaps there is a part of the unit that is not functioning as well. I do not know. I just think something is wrong.
If the unit had not cooled any better than this in years gone by, I might think this is the best it can do, but it has cooled better in years gone by. Last year, for example, by 7:30-8:00 p.m., the unit would begin to cycle on and off again after running constantly all afternoon because the outside temperature would begin to drop. In fact, I would raise the thermostat setting a bit higher after 9 p.m. so that I would not feel chilly watching t.v. on the sofa. Now, I can sit there all evening with the unit running and not feel chilly even at midnight.
Is there something wrong, or am I just imagining there is a problem?