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Old 05-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Is my AC really working correctly?


I live in a three story town home style apartment complex. I am surrounded by an apartment unit on either side of me, and my building is roughly thirty years old. I am experiencing problems with my air conditioning. I do not believe it is working correctly, but the maintenance workers from my apartment complex have checked my ac unit twice, and claim there is nothing wrong with it. This is what I am experiencing and details to hopefully assist responses to my problem. I live in Columbus, OH where there is heat and humidity, but the times I have trialed my ac unit it has been no more than 87 degrees outside with no more than 40% humidity. I also have a digital temperature gauge in my home so I can know the temperature in any room at any time and not just rely on the thermostat reading. My unit was "recharged" and the Freon level checked so I closed all of the windows in my house and turned on the ac at about 6:00 pm and left it on for about two hours, The temperature in the main floor of my home rose two degrees in this time. I contacted my apartment office again, and a very rude maintenance man came when my home was at 72 degrees and read the supply of air at 55 degrees, and the return of air at 70 degrees. He ran the unit for about half an hour and I had not run it for a week and a half. The air was already cool in my house because the air outside was cool, it had nothing to do with the ac unit being turned on. I have been told there is nothing wrong with my unit. So, I turned on the unit at 11:00 am and left it on until 7:00 pm. The main level of my house started at 72 degrees, at 3:00 it was 74 degrees, and at 6:00 it was at 75 degrees. My upstairs started at 76 degrees at 11:00, then rose to 77 degrees at 3:00, and reached 79.3 degrees at 6:00. I ran the ac on full blast for eight hours, and my house never once cooled because of it. It did not get as warm as it would have without the ac on, but I do not feel it is working correctly. Am I expecting too much, or is there something wrong. Please help...

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Old 05-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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Is my AC really working correctly?


the condenser outside has to be cycling or locking out do you have a programmable stat with wake/leave/return/sleep settings for time and temps.set all the temps the same if you do that makes it a regular stat one setting(time doesn't matter)55F were did you read it....need to see the air right off the air handler/furnace along with the return air design is 18F on the average...if the condenser is running grab the thin copper line which is liquid line...warm on hot day condenser is clean..super hot condenser is dirty...does it get the direct sun.filter is clean hi speed fan in cooling....

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Old 05-21-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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Is my AC really working correctly?


From the delta T numbers, (72-55=17, 70-55=15) it is OK, not super, but it is acceptable (Should not expect more than that unless the apartment building is well insulated and AC is also new). So your problem is the insulation of the building walls, or floor between you and downstair areas/apartment. your neighbors may have set temp at 78F, or may be even turned off. In this case, your AC system is not big enough, since your AC system not only needs to cool your own apartment, also your neighbors, or may be the AC is too small to begin with. This problem is common in old apartment buildings (which are not well insulated between the units) , not much you can do.

Last edited by clocert; 05-21-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Is my AC really working correctly?


How large is the apartment?

Where is the thermostat located in relation to the air returns?

Do you have air returns on every level? every room?

Is your filter(s) clean? all of them??

What is the thermostat set at? and do you leave it set there or change it at will?

Is there condensate generated from the evaporator?

What is the duration of the ac's duty cycles?

When it was charged recently, what was the charge? Was it weighed or eyeballed?

So many questions ... so many possibilities.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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Is my AC really working correctly?


I had issues like this in an apartment I was renting. I finally bought one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Raytek-MT4-Non...7632891&sr=1-7
Raytek MT4 Mini Temp Non-Contact Thermometer Gun with Laser Sighting
You can find cheaper version of stuff like this too.

Basically it allowed me to measure the temp of the air coming out of each vent and the return so the next time I called maintenance I could give them a list of temps during the hottest part of the day.

Turns out when it was really hot I was only seeing a 7-10 degree change between return and register. They finally took me seriously, didn't just charge the coolant again and took a closer look. It ended up being a bad capacitor all along. After they replaced it suddenly we were back to a 20-25 degree difference.

With lazy management/maintenance you have to do the troubleshooting for them.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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Is my AC really working correctly?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rewound98 View Post

1. How large is the apartment?

It is roughly 1000 sq ft between the main level and top level, an additional 500 sq ft in the semi-finished (but not really finished at all) basement where the furnace and stuff are located...

2. Where is the thermostat located in relation to the air returns?

The thermostat is located on the main level of the town home

3. Do you have air returns on every level? every room?

What is an "air return" I have two vents in the living room, two vents in the kitchen (approximately 500 sq ft combined), one vent in each bedroom on the upper level, and one vent in the bathroom (approximately 500 sq ft combined), and one vent in the basement (which is closed off because we don;t use it and it's the coolest room anyway and right next to the furnace).

4. Is your filter(s) clean? all of them??

The maintenance crew has claimed the filters are "fine."

5. What is the thermostat set at? and do you leave it set there or change it at will?

The thermostat was set at 60-ish degrees and blew for eight hours. I do not leave it set because I do not run it all the time. I'm expecting to run it when I need it and turn it off when I don't...

6. Is there condensate generated from the evaporator?

I don't know what that means??

7. What is the duration of the ac's duty cycles?

The data I provided in my original post says I left it on for eight hours. Again, I'm not using it all the time, because I don't want to spend the money on it, and I can get the house cool enough depending on the weather without the AC unit turned on. It's when it gets warmer out that I use it, but I don't feel like I should have to run it 24/7 in order for it to kinda maintain temperature, and not even actually cool the temperature. So, I don't leave on all the time.

8. When it was charged recently, what was the charge? Was it weighed or eyeballed?

I didn't actually do the charging, the maintenance person did. So, I can't actually answer that question other than he said it was "okay."

So many questions ... so many possibilities.
Thanks so much in advance for all of your time and help. I really appreciate it!!
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #7
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Is my AC really working correctly?


If you are only running it for a couple of hours, and not all day, it really is not going to make any difference. In order to be effective, the air conditioner needs to be turned on 24/7 and at one temperature, such as 74 degrees. Leave it on that temp and do not touch it. Once the humidity has been removed from the room, the ambient temp. will drop and you will fill more comfortable.

Also, if you have windows that get direct sunlight, it would help in applying a UV film on those windows, so that you still get light, but it blocks the sun's rays from heating up the apartment.

Again, if you only turn the a/c on for say two hours, you are just wasting effort and money, along with electricity. You are better to just open your windows and run a box fan in them at that point.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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Is my AC really working correctly?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
If you are only running it for a couple of hours, and not all day, it really is not going to make any difference. In order to be effective, the air conditioner needs to be turned on 24/7 and at one temperature, such as 74 degrees. Leave it on that temp and do not touch it. Once the humidity has been removed from the room, the ambient temp. will drop and you will fill more comfortable.

Also, if you have windows that get direct sunlight, it would help in applying a UV film on those windows, so that you still get light, but it blocks the sun's rays from heating up the apartment.

Again, if you only turn the a/c on for say two hours, you are just wasting effort and money, along with electricity. You are better to just open your windows and run a box fan in them at that point.
Bingo!

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