Updated August 15, 2023
There are many factors that affect the performance of the air conditioner in your Whittier, California home. Just as the size of your air conditioner matters, its fan speed setting is important as well. Although many HVAC installers maintain the initial, standard fan speed setting, this isn’t guaranteed to be the right one for your living environment. If your cooling system is consistently under-performing or if your home constantly feels muggy, making a simple adjustment at the fan could solve your problem. Following are several ways to know whether your AC fan speed should be adjusted.
You’ve Got Lots of Cool Air Coming Out of Your HVAC Air Vents
Faster fan speeds always mean more airflow. This is true whether you adjust the speed on a simple box fan or ceiling fan, or whether you speed up the fan in your air conditioner. However, with AC systems, having lots of air isn’t really the goal. The real goal is to make sure that the air being distributed throughout your home is actually cold.
To understand how your fan speed can affect the temperature of your indoor air, you have to know how the cooling process works. As warm air passes over the evaporator coil in your air conditioner, the refrigerant within this coil absorbs its heat. After spending a sufficient amount of time on the evaporator coil, conditioned air feels genuinely cold. Having only moderately cool air coming out of your vents means that this air isn’t getting enough time on the evaporator coil. The best way to resolve this may be to slow the fan down. Once your air conditioner’s cooling cycle has been extended, you’ll notice a significant drop in the temperature of distributed air.
Sadly, homeowners often associate rapid and forceful airflow with superior AC performance. When they know how, some attempt to crank up their AC fan speeds themselves. If you were having a problem with insufficient cool air and attempted to adjust your fan speed to correct it, you should have an HVAC technician make a more calculated and needs-specific adjustment now. Moreover, there may be another reason why your air conditioner’s distributed air isn’t flowing fast enough, and this problem should be resolved too.
You’ve Got Moisture Problems
The likelihood of creating humidity control issues is another good reason to avoid adjusting your air conditioner’s fan speed on your own. If your home has a very limited cooling demand, the speed of your AC fan needs to be slowed down. When installed, most air conditioners are set to blow air at 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Homes that are virtually airtight often feel better when their fans are blowing at 350 CFM instead.
In their efforts to cut their home energy costs and lower their carbon footprints, many homeowners are creating increasingly airtight and efficient living environments. By adding more insulation or choosing insulation with higher R values, upgrading your windows, and sealing up air leaks, you are essentially reducing the amount of work that your HVAC system has to do. During the cooling season, this means having your air conditioner run less often and for shorter periods of time. Although this works well from an energy-savings standpoint, it complicates one of your air conditioner’s most important processes: humidity regulation.
Air conditioners in efficient homes tend to have relatively short cooling cycles. They cycle down and off before any humidity can be extracted from the living environment. Lowering their fan speeds helps extend their cooling cycles so that indoor moisture levels never rise to high. This will keep your living environment from feeling clammy or muggy, and it will also bode well for the health of your AC system.
Your AC Fan Speed Was Never Streamlined to Suit Your Home
Although 400 CFM is a fairly standard AC fan speed, most consumers won’t get optimum performance from their cooling equipment with this setting. Some HVAC installers rush through the process of choosing cooling equipment and putting it in. You may have hired an installer that didn’t pull permits for their work, didn’t adjust the refrigerant level in your brand new AC unit, or didn’t correctly size the refrigerant lines for your property. All of these are signs of hasty or slip-shod workmanship.
The best HVAC companies are fastidious in all aspects of their work. Not only do they choose the best AC models for individual homes, but they also streamline and refine this equipment to perfectly reflect household needs. AC fan settings must reflect the overall efficiency of homes, the number of household occupants, the age of an air conditioner, and many other factors. As such, if your AC fan speed wasn’t adjusted during installation or if it hasn’t been adjusted for a while, now may be a good time to schedule this service.
Residents of Whittier, California can count on [company_name] for superior HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also offer plumbing service, heat pump installation, and indoor air quality control. If your air conditioner isn’t performing like it should, we can help. Give us a call today.