Air conditioners, like other HVAC units, tend to remain a part of a household for long periods of time. Over their lifespan, general wear and tear from daily usage is a common problem that homeowners face. Ideally, the owner should maintain their HVAC units through regular maintenance [link “Taking Care of Your Air Conditioner, June 22, 2020” blog here].
However, sometimes your home’s air conditioning units are already experiencing some damage or breakdown, and the signs are starting to show. There are common and distinct signs that you should watch for that give clues about the health of your air conditioner. Here are five of these signs that are your signal to call for professional help.
Air conditioning units are designed to run without significant noise. There is always a soft sound from the motor when the unit starts and shuts off, but other sounds are a sign of a problem. If your A/C unit is grinding, squealing, or making other abrasive or loud metallic crashing noises, it’s time to pay attention. There could be a broken part inside the machine or other critical damage. A delay in responding to this cry for help could worsen the problem, making it more difficult and more expensive to fix. A quick call for professional help may save you from having to completely replace the unit.
Another significant marker of a problem with your air conditioner is a strong smell. Your A/C unit should not be producing any noticeable odor. If it is, this could be a sign that there is burned wiring insulation within the system that needs to be replaced. Another worrying smell is a strong, musty odor, which indicates that there is mold or other microbial growth inside the air conditioning unit. This problem is usually caused by inadequate maintenance and cleaning. This should be addressed by professionals as quickly as possible, as it is a significant health risk to you and your family.
If insufficient cooling happens when your air conditioning unit switches on, or the airflow is very poor, it is not functioning correctly. Poor airflow could indicate an issue with the fans inside the system that push air out into and through your home. It could be a clogged air filter, a broken motor or a faulty fan control board.
Another airflow issue you may experience is if the A/C unit is blowing hot air instead of cold. This could be the result of a broken compressor or a refrigerant leak.
These problems are easy to fix with professional help, and can be avoided through regular maintenance of the system. If you’re experiencing improper airflow from your air conditioning unit, it’s time to call for expert help.
High Energy Consumption
With rising temperatures through the spring and summer months, it is common to experience high power consumption by your air conditioning units. But if the bills keep coming in unusually high month after month without a corresponding weather change, you may have an old system that needs to be upgraded. Regular maintenance of your HVAC units by yourself or by professionals can help prolong its life, but eventually replacement is going to be your best bet for an older unit. A visit from a qualified technician can identify the problem and help prevent increasing energy costs.
Moisture Around Unit
The air conditioning unit in your house depends on refrigerant to provide cooling. This process produces condensation, but it should not leak into your home. Any fluid leakage from the air conditioner means that there are problems with your cooling system. Minor issues like a blockage in the drain tube that channels the condensation away from the air conditioner can cause moisture to spread around the unit. More than just an annoyance, moisture allows for mold to grow and thrive, which can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Moisture could also indicate a refrigerant leak, which creates a health hazard and should be addressed immediately.
With regular care and maintenance, you can reap years of benefits from properly functioning HVAC units. If you listen to what your unit is telling you, you can recognize early warning signs of bigger problems. It’s easier and less expensive to address smaller issues as they arise rather than let them slide and end up with a costly repair bill.