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How to Recognize and Fix Problems with a Home's Air Conditioning System

With the hottest months of summer quickly approaching, many people will be turning to air conditioners to help fight off the heat. Even with the AC set at frigid temperatures, some areas in a home will still be inexplicably hot. Malfunctioning conditioning systems will be the cause of many homeowner’s headaches and increased energy bills.

Houses have many causes for faulty conditioning systems, for example ducts could be squeezed between framing, piping or wires; ducts could be leaky; or the system could have been designed improperly. The most common cause is leaky ducts.

“While some ducts leak more than others, all ducts, by their very nature, leak air,” said ‘Good House’ expert Matt Shipley. “These leaks can account for 15%-30% of your heating and cooling costs.”

Most leaks are caused by improper installation, but there is a way to reduce leakage in existing ducts. The use of a duct sealing system will inject adhesive particles into holes and cracks throughout the system.

“Adhesive duct sealing particles attach directly onto the edges of any hole and crack effectively sealing it without coating the insides of your ducts," Shipley said. “This is one of the most practical solutions for do-it-yourselfers looking to reduce the amount of leakage in their existing duct system.”

Another major cause of conditioning problems is blocked diffusers, or vents. When furniture is placed in front of or over vents, air from the vent cannot adequately mix with the air already in the room.

“Unfortunately, some people may not have the option to place furniture out of the way of vents,” Shipley said. “Some builders locate the vents low on a wall or on the floor under a window; the same place you find ideal to put a sofa, chair or table.”

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