The last thing anyone wants during the summer months is for their air conditioner to break down. You depend on your air conditioner to keep you cool and comfortable on summer’s hottest days and a sudden failure can quickly turn into a nightmare. The best way to avoid a complete breakdown is to be on the lookout for signs of trouble and call for an air conditioning repair as soon as a problem becomes apparent.
But how do you know when your air conditioner needs an intervention? If your air conditioning system is exhibiting one of these signs, it may be time to call an HVAC professional.
1. Warm Air Coming Out of Vents
If you place your hand against your vent and feel warm, not cool, air, that could indicate either a compressor failure or low Freon levels in your unit. Either way, it’s time to call a professional for an air conditioning repair before the temperature in your home starts to heat up to uncomfortable levels.
2. Weak Air Flow
Lower than usual air flow, through some or all of your vents, requires prompt attention. It’s possible all you need is a new air filter. However, the culprit could be debris build-up in your duct system, which is why professional duct cleaning every 5 to 7 years is recommended. Weak air flow can also be a sign of a larger issue, such as a failing compressor. Only a professional technician can diagnose the source of the problem, so it’s best to call for service as soon as you notice something is amiss.
3. Frequent Cycling
Your air conditioner’s operating cycles should be smooth, with a consistent on-off routine. While it’s normal for your air conditioner to run more on the hottest days, if you notice it turning on and off more quickly than usual, that can be a sign of an underlying malfunction. Sometimes the problem can be resolved with a simple tune-up; other times, you may need a new unit.
Humidity is a staple of summer weather, but it should be confined to the outdoors. If the air inside your home is sticky and humid, call for service. Your air conditioner may need to be recalibrated or you may need a whole-house dehumidifier.
Refrigerant is a necessary ingredient for your air conditioning system to operate, but it should not be leaking or producing condensation on the outside of your unit. Exposure can cause health issues, so call for service immediately if you notice a leak. Water pooling next to your air conditioning unit could indicate a blocked or broken drain tube. While the water itself is not dangerous, you should call for an air conditioning repair to prevent mold or other water damage to your home.
6. Unpleasant Odors
Foul or musty odors coming from your air conditioning unit may be a sign of mold or a burnout in your system’s insulation. A professional technician can diagnose the problem and either clean the unit or replace any damaged parts. Cleaning your ductwork may also help alleviate mold issues.
7. Loud Noises
If you start to notice noises louder or different than your unit’s normal operating noise, call for service. Squealing or rattling noises could mean parts have slipped out of place or need lubricating. Grinding or whistling noises could signal a broken motor or other potentially serious problem. Have your unit checked out as soon as possible to prevent further damage or service disruption.
8. High Energy Bills
Because your HVAC system is the largest consumer of energy in your home, it’s normal for your energy bills to spike during the hottest months of summer. But if your bills are significantly higher than they were last summer, your unit may be operating inefficiently, especially if it is more than 10 years old. Usually, a tune-up or small repair can solve the problem, but if your unit is older, it may make more financial sense to replace it with a new, more energy-efficient unit.
By staying vigilant and paying attention to signs of trouble with your air conditioning unit, you can catch emerging problems before they reach a critical stage. If your air conditioning system is showing any of the signs mentioned here, schedule service online. Constellation’s local, licensed technicians can provide professional air conditioning repair on all major brands.