Apartment Central A/C Issue

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  #1  
Old 06-06-14, 01:06 PM
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Apartment Central A/C Issue

Hey everyone, first post here!

Anyways, I live in a 2nd floor apartment and we have been having A/C issues since we moved in last July. Maintenance/the leasing office says everything is working fine but I find that hard to believe.

The issue I am having is the central A/C is cooling enough when it's hot outside. For example, Wednesday I got home at about 5 PM and the inside temperate was around 75-76 degrees at the thermostat. Outside temp was roughly 81-82 degrees. The thermostat had been left on cool 72 degrees since I got up that morning when it was below 72 degrees inside. For us, that's a GOOD day of cooling. When we had the heatwave in SoCal a few weeks ago (and what I assume this summer will be like) where it was 90-102 degrees, our thermostat was reporting an inside temp of typically 81-85 degrees when I got home even though the thermostat was set to cool 72 degrees 24/7.

Now, I realize just because I set it at a certain temperature doesn't mean it's necessarily going to achieve that temperature and the unit is probably working as hard as it can, but it doesn't seem to be installed correctly and I was wondering if anyone could point out anything they see wrong with it so I can specifically point it out to maintenance so they can address it.

Unfortunately I do not have access to the condensing unit nor do I know anything about it, so I can only post information about the furnace/air handler.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y1l99156wklfplk/floorplan.JPG

^ That is the floorplan of my 2nd floor apartment. It's not done exactly to scale (I made it myself), but it gives a rough idea of the layout. The blue boxes indicate the A/C vents. One blows directly into the living room, and each bedroom has a vent. The thermostat is located underneath the living room vent on the wall.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cm4cke0ll4z98tc/AH.jpg

^ That is the furnace/air handler. Below it is a grille cut into two pieces so they can fit side by side. Unfortunately, this is the only return air vent in the entire apartment.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/28x0xqqrzw...RA%20Space.jpg

^ That is a shot from inside the filter curb with the filter taken out. It is the return air space. It is closed off on all sides except for the air handler return where the filter goes and the vent openings in the previous picture.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tqrkkmez98zsjht/Ducting.jpg

^ Thatís the top of the furnace/air handler. Fresh air inlet, exhaust hose, and the two ducts (one directly into the living room and the other to the two bedrooms.

I realize there isnít much to go on without seeing the condensing unit or knowing anything about it, but is there anything specifically I can try to address with the leasing company that will improve the cooling OR I can do myself?
 

Last edited by onemoremember; 06-06-14 at 02:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-06-14, 01:17 PM
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I have to agree, that's not normal. Pull the filters out and let it run for 2,3 hours. Also clean the return air grilles located right below the furnace. See if that makes any difference.
 
  #3  
Old 06-06-14, 02:11 PM
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Your third pic link isn't working.

Have you been home when the A/C first kicks on in the morning? I had a similar issue in my house in VA. It wouldn't kick on til the house had already started heating up. Once that happened, it couldn't overcome the heat load and the inside temp would slowly keep climbing. Everything was checked and operating correctly, but the stat wouldn't kick on early enough.

Kind of my own fault, I had replaced the original manual mechanical stat with a programmable. When the Tech saw the brand (Hunter), he said they make good fans but the stats are junk. Replaced it with a good Honeywell and problem was fixed.

If you have a thermometer like this 5" Probe Thermometer you can insert it in a vent furthest from the AH and at the return vent and measure the temps. A difference of 16-20 is normal. Anything much lower and the system isn't performing correctly.

You said you were on the second floor, does that mean the roof is above you? Top floor is almost always warmer than lower floors.

Also, when they said it was working fine, did they pull any panels to check the evaporator (cooling) coil? Does your airflow seem strong?
 
  #4  
Old 06-06-14, 02:37 PM
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Fixed the link, thanks. https://www.dropbox.com/s/28x0xqqrzw...RA%20Space.jpg

The A/C comes on at the correct time, yes.

I think my wife might have a thermometer like that, I'll check the temps that way.

Yes, we are on the second floor and the roof is above us.

I am not sure what they checked, I am not home during their operating hours. I can pull the panel myself and check the blower/coil cleanliness, though.

Airflow into the living room right from the air handler is strong, but the bedroom airflow is a lot weaker.
 
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