Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Ways to Know If Your Home AC Unit Is at Full Capacity

Your AC’s capacity is measured in tons. One ton of cooling produces 12,000 BTUs per hour to cool about 400-500 square feet. That means that an 1,600-square-foot home needs a 3-4 ton AC to cool it properly. That’s when it’s running optimally, though. How can you be sure that that amount of cooling actually reaches your home? Here are a few things to look for to ensure your AC is running at full capacity.

  • Age. If you take care of your unit and get your annual maintenance visit, it will continue running efficiently for years. However, even the best-maintained ACs wear out over time. If your system is 10 years old or more, it likely isn’t running at the same capacity it was when you bought it.
  • Airflow. When air can’t flow freely, your unit’s capacity is reduced. It needs to work harder and run longer to provide the cooling you need, wasting energy and wearing out the system. Several factors can restrict the airflow through your home, such as a clogged air filter. Change your filter regularly to ensure proper airflow. Also make sure all your vents and registers are fully open and that no furniture or other obstructions are blocking them.
  • Air leaks. Leaks can undermine your system’s efficiency and its ability to cool your home at full capacity. Leaks around windows, doors, and baseboards can let the cooled air out and warm air in. Ductwork leaks can keep the cooled air from reaching your home in the first place. Repair damaged ductwork with metal tape or mastic sealant, and conduct a home-energy audit to find leaks in your home.
  • Refrigerant. A leak in your AC’s refrigerant will keep it from cooling as efficiently as it should. This not only reduces its capacity, it can damage the system and cause your evaporator coil to freeze. If you suspect you have a leak, call your HVAC technician to fix it and recharge your refrigerant so your unit runs at full capacity.

To ensure your AC runs at full capacity, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We keep Yuma homes efficient and comfortable.