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  1. #1

    Hotter In My House This Morning

    I live in Texas, and it's hot as Hades here right now. My A/C has been running more or less non-stop for almost two weeks. With daytime highs between 102 and 108, it had been hot inside during the afternoon and early evening, but by midnight or so it would start to cool down and during the night and especially by morning, it would be really cool inside. In fact, the only time I adjusted the thermostat to turn the air off was in the morning. However, last night it never got cool inside. I woke up this morning with the covers still off; that's the first time all summer.

    When I stood on a chair to check whether the air was cool, it did seem to be cool, but there also seemed to be less air coming out of the vents. I rent my house, and the hvac unit is pretty old. It's never been a powerhouse with respect to airflow, but it seems to be weaker than usual. I've been pretty bad about changing the filter every month (is that how often I should change it?), so the first thing I'm going to do today is get a new filter. I also looked at some youtube videos about cleaning both the outside (condenser) and inside (evaporator) coils. It doesn't look that hard. Is this something I should try myself?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderately Handy View Post
    I live in Texas, and it's hot as Hades here right now.

    I've been pretty bad about changing the filter every month (is that how often I should change it?),
    Ok. Remove the filter and replace. Then turn the a/c off at the thermostat and put the fan to the on position at the thermostat. This is in case the dirty filter has restricted the air flow and the evaporator coil has ice on it.

    Have a couple of old towel handy just in case the drain is overcome by the melting ice.

    leave it this way for an hour then turn the a/c back on and see if your airflow improved and thustly your cooling.

    as far as cleaning coils.....remember the condenser operates on high voltage... 208/230Volts and spraying water on it when you don't know where you are spraying it could cause you injury or death. As far as cleaning the evaporator leave that to the pro's if it is even needed .....one wrong move on your part and you could let the refrigerant out and then you have a much more serious problem.



    Thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Greenwood Indiana (Indianapolis)
    Posts
    420

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderately Handy View Post
    I live in Texas, and it's hot as Hades here right now. My A/C has been running more or less non-stop for almost two weeks. With daytime highs between 102 and 108, it had been hot inside during the afternoon and early evening, but by midnight or so it would start to cool down and during the night and especially by morning, it would be really cool inside. In fact, the only time I adjusted the thermostat to turn the air off was in the morning. However, last night it never got cool inside. I woke up this morning with the covers still off; that's the first time all summer.

    When I stood on a chair to check whether the air was cool, it did seem to be cool, but there also seemed to be less air coming out of the vents. I rent my house, and the hvac unit is pretty old. It's never been a powerhouse with respect to airflow, but it seems to be weaker than usual. I've been pretty bad about changing the filter every month (is that how often I should change it?), so the first thing I'm going to do today is get a new filter. I also looked at some youtube videos about cleaning both the outside (condenser) and inside (evaporator) coils. It doesn't look that hard. Is this something I should try myself?

    Thanks.
    its possible that the a/c is frozen up, meaning the indoor coil is a frozen block of white ice. It can happen for several reasons but the 2 most common is low on air flow, which you have indicated a problem and 2 that its low on refrigerant. If you see ice on the refrigerant lines than turn a/c off but the fan at thermostat on. let it run like this for several hours. I've even had to run the heat for 20-30 minutes. Hope this helps.
    As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another Proverbs 27:17 NIV84

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies. I don't think I'll mess with cleaning the coils. Concerning frozen coils, is this something I could visually verify? I have easy access to the indoor unit in the attic, but don't know what to look for.

    To get the ice to melt (assuming there is any ice), if it's 105 outside, I'm guessing it will be pretty darn hot in my attic. If the AC is off for an hour, would the attic heat be sufficient to melt it all away? Or should I turn on the heat too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    How cold are you setting it at night. At my work, we have a problem where it's hot in the afternoon in some control rooms, so they turn it down to 55F. Then overnight it finalyl catches up and as it gets unto hte mid ot upper60's the coils start to freeze up. I've started looking into password protected thermstats.

    I'm not sayign this is what you didm but I think most of the general population doesn't realize that setting a thermostat colder won;t make it cool off quicker. its' a on/off device, it will either run or shut off once satisfied.

    Start with air filter. Then consider having your ductwork evaluated. Make sure all your vents are open as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,997
    The airflow being too low is reducing the Btuh heat removal capacity of your A/C!

    You need to address that problem ASAP.

    Don't use a 1" pleated filter as they are too restrictive on systems that have margin-able air flow.

    Turn all power off to the furnace at the breaker & check the blower qwheel blades for lint buildup; if filled with lint then the evaporator will also be insulated & somewhat airflow blocked &n in need of cleaning.

    After cleaning is done, have airflow CFM checked &, have them get it right...the cooling efficiency should be much improved.

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