Air Conditioner Woes


Earlier this summer I had air conditioner problems. Intermittent air conditioner problems that I first hoped were due to a cheap, 17 year old thermostat which I ended up replacing. The week after that I had air conditioner problems on the weekend that I couldn't reproduce when the A/C guy came to check. Since then everything worked fine, until yesterday.

Yesterday I noticed the house felt a little warmer than the normal 75° the house has been set at all summer. When I checked the thermostat - the super nifty wifi connected thermostat I replaced the old cheap piece of crap with, the thermostat showed 78°. Everything displayed as working properly so there wasn't a setting amiss. Bringing out the IR temp gun, I pointed it at the vent in the computer room and the air coming out was at 86°.

It had started raining heavy today after a fairly long dry spell, and the outside humidity, according to the fancy thermostat, was 98% (36% humidity inside).

This continued for a while when I noticed the indoor temp was 80° The rain had stopped but the humidity was still a little high. Thinking back to last time this happened and I complained to Jerry, he had mentioned that maybe the condenser on the air conditioner was having a hard time keeping up in high humidity. When I poked my head into the attic that time, there was water (cold water) dripping from the drain pipe that eventually leads outside. From this I mainly noticed that I now knew why there were weird spots on the kitchen ceiling - that was some serious dripping at some point.

The house felt a little cooler. Checking the thermostat the temp read 77° with an outdoor humidity of 90% (still in the 30's inside). Air coming out of the vent was at 56°

An hour later I was getting ready to go to Gina's and it felt warm again. The temp had gone back up to 78° with warm air coming out of the vents (in the 80's is all I can remember), humidity was still at 90%.

Since there was nothing I could do I went to Gina's and we had a TV night. When I got back home 4 hours later everything was back to normal. The house was cooled off to 75° Air from the vent was in the 60's. Outdoor humidity was now at 100%. Outdoor temp was 73°.

I don't know if high humidity + high temperature is more than the condenser can handle, but that's my theory. Now I've got somewhere to refer to my theory the next time it happens. Maybe the data points I'm collecting will lead to something. I know they'll eventually lead to having to spend at least $5K to replace the air conditioner, but I'd like to delay that for as long as I comfortably can.

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