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MissSophie

A/C set on 71 but 77 in house; I can barely breathe

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I was told many years ago that most systems can only cool 20 degrees lower than the temp outside. Wouldn't hurt to have it serviced, but it is heating up fast out there this week.

 

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I was told many years ago that most systems can only cool 20 degrees lower than the temp outside.

Not true. All depends on how it's sized.

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MissSophie, I sent you a pm. Yes, when I had a programmable thermostat, I loved it!!! We have a heat pump, here. When we get a new heat/ac system, we will get one!!!

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I'm having the same problem. Hotter than HELL outside, and I have mine on 70 and it's saying 70 in my room, but I know that is wrong. Even the family say when they walk into my room it's hot compared to the rest of the house. I'm on my own unit and it's brand new. Now I love it in the bathroom, it has both units going to it, and you would think you were walking into a very cold freezer.

 

BRING ON WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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From my experiences, it could be a combination of issues. YMMV.

 

I have seen a thermostat wired wrong where the heat and the A/C came on at the same time, but it was caught pretty quick. Doubt that is the issue here.

 

Humidity has been high around here the last couple of weeks, your A/C dehumidifies as well as cools, if it's very humid in the house it will use all it's cooling power pulling the water from the air. Is there a lot of water coming from the unit drain outside? I had one house that we had a puddle form at the drain that frogs mistook as a pond, I had tadpoles grow to complete frogs in there. With 5 people in the house, the A/C ran 22-23 hours a day and the puddle never dried up.

 

Outside coils dirty. If the inside unit is where you can get to it when it's running, carefully touch for heat, then feel the small (inlet) line going into the furnace body. It should be just slightly higher than outside air temp if the outside coils are in good shape. If too hot to hold, your coils are very dirty and must be serviced/cleaned. Nobody told me that they had to be cleaned at my first house, we let it run for 4 years without cleaning. I grabbed the inlet line and it felt like I was nearly burned. (The unit was running the 22-23 hours a day mentioned above). Being a cheapskate, I powered everything down and cleaned it all myself, and upon turning everything back on, the line was air temp, the unit ran only 18-19 hours a day, saving me lot's of money and the house was cooler as the vent air temp had dropped quite a bit.

 

Inside Filter dirty. Unlike heat, which is added to the air then carried into the house with the air to spread all over by itself, A/C requires that the heat in your house be picked up by the air, then sucked into A/C system,the heat removed and the cooler air returned to the house again. To get the house cool, large amounts of air must move in the duct systems. Make sure all vents are wide open for maximum air flow. Check the return covers and make sure they are not clogged with dust. (Esp those hidden behind the couch) As guard dad mentioned, replace the furnace filter if at all dirty. Anything that makes the air move at less that optimum speed will slow down the cooling process.

 

Again as Guard Dad mentioned, if when you check the inside unit lines, if you see ice on the big line leaving the unit, then your coils are getting too cold, and most likely the condensate inside has frozen on the coils keeping them from cooling the air properly. Surprisingly, the coils being too cold is usually caused by the coolant levels in the until being too low. Call the A/C people to have the charge checked. (Ice can also happen if your kid sets the thermostat to 60 degrees in the middle of the night even if the charge is OK. Don't ask how I know.)

 

Unit is just too small. Spec homes often have minimum sized units. My first home was a spec home and as mentioned above, ran 18-20 hours a day trying to keep it cool even if serviced. The Rent-a-Dump we lived in while our house was being built had a unit that ran just about 24/7 trying to keep it cool. If the unit is undersized, it will spend all it's time dehumidifying and not enough cooling.

 

Over sized unit. - Lucky, this could be your problem. If the unit is over sized, it will cool the house/room very quickly to the desired temperature, so quickly that it cannot dehumidify the air properly. So you end up with a "cool" room that is at 80%+ humidity and you sweat at the slightest movement. Not much you can do about this except keep pushing the thermostat down until it runs enough to dry out the air. I have this problem on the north end of my house, all the showers are there so very moist but the sunlight/heat is on the southern zone. So the southern end is comfortable when set to 77, but the bedroom zone has to be left on 74 to get it to run enough to dry out the shower moisture and as it cools in the fall, I have to keep pushing it down until heating season.

 

Good luck.

 

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I'm having the same problem. Hotter than HELL outside, and I have mine on 70 and it's saying 70 in my room, but I know that is wrong. Even the family say when they walk into my room it's hot compared to the rest of the house. I'm on my own unit and it's brand new. Now I love it in the bathroom, it has both units going to it, and you would think you were walking into a very cold freezer.

 

BRING ON WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had the same problem last week. The thermostat was set for 73, the temp was reading 73; but it felt hot and the A/C unit continued to run. We had our HVAC guy come out and we were low on freon, but there were no leaks. He showed me something interesting. Our units have a valve stem similar to those on a car tire used to put in air, but for the A/C unit it's for putting in the freon. He said by the dirt stuck on the casing around it, it appears someone used it to let freon out. He put more in and it's been running fine since.

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I will bet dollars to dougnuts your filter is due for replacing. cheapest and easiest fix. Check your outside A/C unit and see if there is any ice accumulation on it. if there is then it is your most likely culprit. Turn the a/c off to let the ice melt (do not switch to heat! this can damage your a/c!) meanwhile replace the filter. once filter is replaced and ice is melted, turn on your a/c andyou should be good to go.

 

if this doesn't do it the next likely suspect is your Freon levels.

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When we've had this problem - I've run the hose on the coils outside. Not the cheapest solution. But, when I was 8 months pregnant in July/August - it did the trick. Also - cleaning the coils was a great solution. When I've had to do it - the service tech found the system was low on freon. But, it'll get you through a pinch. This is especially important if you have a unit that just has a cage around - not an enclosure. The fins get really dirty with just the cage.

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MissSophie, you and I have the same floor plan. Our builder did undersize the AC units. He and the AC company claimed it was right for the square footage, but they did not bother to take all the vaulted ceilings into consideration. If your unit is the original, you may want to have it serviced. It may need some refrigerant added and don't forget to check the filter in your unit in the attic. Also, make sure that none of the air returns are blocked.

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Builders and HVAC companies are supposed to do a load calculation on homes to determine how much heating and cooling is needed. It's called a "Manual J" due to the old longhand method of figuring the load. Most use a computer program to figure load now. Default design temp in Atlanta is 92 degrees. Default setpoint for cooling is 76 degrees. If they stuck with these factors, your A/C will start loosing ground when it's hotter outside or you want to maintain a lower temp inside. And that's even when your unit is clean and working to full capacity.

 

On the other hand, oversizing is not good either. An oversized unit doesn't run long enough to properly dehumidify, and that makes it feel muggy inside even when the house is cool.

 

Some of the new higher efficiency units are multi-stage. That means they have a high and low setting, instead of just being on or off. The multi-stage units can run at a reduced capacity during milder temps, and kick into high when it's really hot outside. With this equipment, you can have the best of both worlds. It does cost more, but it's worth it.

 

Biggest thing you can do though, is to have your HVAC units serviced every spring. And make sure that includes coil cleanings, not just these $29.95 "Tune Up Specials" where they really don't do anything but try to sell you something. A true maintenance service should take at least two hours per unit and cost at least $100 plus any parts or materials that are needed. But it will pay for itself in energy savings and reduced breakdowns. If you have a heat pump, you might want to consider servicing it twice per year.

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Builders and HVAC companies are supposed to do a load calculation on homes to determine how much heating and cooling is needed. It's called a "Manual J" due to the old longhand method of figuring the load. Most use a computer program to figure load now. Default design temp in Atlanta is 92 degrees. Default setpoint for cooling is 76 degrees. If they stuck with these factors, your A/C will start loosing ground when it's hotter outside or you want to maintain a lower temp inside. And that's even when your unit is clean and working to full capacity.

 

On the other hand, oversizing is not good either. An oversized unit doesn't run long enough to properly dehumidify, and that makes it feel muggy inside even when the house is cool.

 

Some of the new higher efficiency units are multi-stage. That means they have a high and low setting, instead of just being on or off. The multi-stage units can run at a reduced capacity during milder temps, and kick into high when it's really hot outside. With this equipment, you can have the best of both worlds. It does cost more, but it's worth it.

 

Biggest thing you can do though, is to have your HVAC units serviced every spring. And make sure that includes coil cleanings, not just these $29.95 "Tune Up Specials" where they really don't do anything but try to sell you something. A true maintenance service should take at least two hours per unit and cost at least $100 plus any parts or materials that are needed. But it will pay for itself in energy savings and reduced breakdowns. If you have a heat pump, you might want to consider servicing it twice per year.

A couple of Summers ago, this cool guy came out to my house and filled one of my units with freon. He also had this neat stuff he sprayed on the coils and that stuff did an amazing job cleaning them. I still can't thank that guy enough.

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A couple of Summers ago, this cool guy came out to my house and filled one of my units with freon. He also had this neat stuff he sprayed on the coils and that stuff did an amazing job cleaning them. I still can't thank that guy enough.

Yep. It's a very aggressive cleaner that eats all the crud out of the coils. Most of it you can't buy without a license because it's so strong. A/C units should usually be cleaned with that stuff every year. Clean coils make a huge difference in how they cool, how much energy they use, and how long they last.

 

Was that guy a devastatingly handsome dude?

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Yep. It's a very aggressive cleaner that eats all the crud out of the coils. Most of it you can't buy without a license because it's so strong. A/C units should usually be cleaned with that stuff every year. Clean coils make a huge difference in how they cool, how much energy they use, and how long they last.

 

Was that guy a devastatingly handsome dude?

He was just average looking. :rofl:

Edited by El Zorro
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He was just average looking. :rofl:

Average looking - but a head full of HVAC know how!

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