Trying to beat the summer heat when your air conditioner took a nosedive? You’ll be able to tell if you’re in need of ac repair but troubleshooting is complex.
The HVAC system is a part of our daily lives, yet it doesn’t get as much care as it needs to. Only 42% of homeowners call an expert to perform routine maintenance on their units. This makes them vulnerable to health threats that a broken AC might pose.
If you fail to have your AC maintained by a certified technician, you may be dealing with some problems. You may or may not notice it, but your AC may already be giving you signs that it needs an AC repair or replacement.
Read on for the top warning signs you need to call a professional.
- It Has Poor Airflow
Other than this issue, the air conditioner may still be functioning as expected. It may still turn on and the air coming out of it may still be cool.
In spite of this, the room may still not feel cold. In that case, it may be due to weak airflow.
Hold your hand against the vent and feel the air coming out. If it isn’t that powerful, you may be dealing with this issue.
This can be because of an issue with the AC blower or a clogged air filter. Other reasons can be more serious, such as a blocked air duct, frozen evaporator coils, or leaking ducts. For these causes, you need a professional to look at it.
- It’s Blowing Warm Air
If you hold your hand against the vent and you feel adequate airflow but it feels warm, it may be a possible cause for inspection. Still, tick off a few boxes before you call a technician.
In hot summer months, give it a while to blow cool air before you decide something’s wrong. Check your thermostat first, as well, to make sure someone didn’t set it to heat by accident.
In other cases, get a professional to diagnose the problem. The outside unit may not be getting electricity. It may also be low on refrigerant or you may have a disconnected return duct.
These and the other possible serious causes need an expert to take care of them.
- It’s Emitting Strange Noises
You can expect your air conditioner to hum when it’s on. But how do you differentiate it from a noise indicating something’s wrong?
If it sounds unfamiliar or it sounds like there’s something scraping, screeching, grinding, or grating inside the unit, that’s a huge sign of an underlying issue.
It can be a sign of a loose part, which can further damage the whole system if you don’t fix it at once. If it’s the belt, you need to have it replaced ASAP.
Sometimes, it only means some gears need lubricating or some of the motor’s bearings or broken. It can also mean your refrigerant is leaking or you have a malfunctioning compressor.
To be safe, get your unit checked out anytime you hear something strange. Prolonging this issue can cause other, costlier parts to break, too.
- You Smell Unusual Odors
Any strange smell coming from your HVAC system won’t disappear the longer you ignore it. This issue is easy to fix. It might only need some duct cleaning to remove the build-up of dirt or ultraviolet light treatment to eliminate microbial and bacterial growth.
In any case, don’t let the smell grow as the causes aren’t trivial. It might be due to mold that will put your family’s health at risk. A pungent smell can also indicate burnt wire insulation.
- It Goes Into Frequent Cycles
Air conditioning systems have a set routine. It turns on every time it needs to cool the room, and it turns off every time the room reaches the ideal temperature. In hotter months, you can expect the AC to do this cycle more often than usual.
However, it shouldn’t be too frequent. If you’re noticing something is unusual with its cycles, call someone to check the cause. It may only need a quick tune-up to get it working as expected again.
In some cases, however, it may be due to a broken AC you need to replace instead.
- The Thermostat Isn’t Accurate
A possible cause of why the above issue happens is a broken thermostat. The AC system refers to the thermostat to determine whether it needs to cool the room or turn off.
If the thermostat itself is the thing that’s broken, this will make it seem like the air conditioning unit is the one to blame.
A broken thermostat may also display a different symptom. The HVAC system may be going for 70 degrees, but the temperature is off by a significant amount. This is also a sign that the thermostat is the issue.
A thermostat has many electrical components, though, which means it’s dangerous for the average homeowner to diagnose and deal with the problem on their own. You’ll need an HVAC tech to look into thermostat problems, as well.
- The AC Is Always Broken
Do you find yourself in the never-ending cycle of having it fixed, finding out it’s broken, then having it fixed again? If your AC develops a new issue or revisits old issues now and then, it may be time for it to retire.
Instead of trying to fix it again, it may be more economical for you to buy a whole new unit.
Before doing that, though, ask for a professional opinion. You may encounter this problem if you’ve been trying to fix the cropping issues yourself. In this case, you may be doing it wrong or making it worse.
A professional can undo the damage DIY projects can cause. If one tells you to replace the unit, though, that’s the best course of action.
- There’s Moisture Around the Unit
Notice leaking or moisture around your unit? While condensate is normal, a higher amount of moisture than usual or a pool of liquid isn’t. These signs may point to leaks.
One of the most common problems is a refrigerant leak. This can cause serious health issues because refrigerants are poisonous. If you suspect this is the case, stop using your AC and call a professional to come over ASAP.
A less serious problem is a water leak, which might be a drain tube issue. Sometimes, the tube that draws away the condensation from the AC unit suffers from blockage. It can also break, causing a leak that can go outside the unit.
While it’s not as threatening as a refrigerant leak, a water leak may cause mold growth. Excess moisture can encourage all kinds of growth. As such, it needs immediate attention, as well.
- The Air in the Room Feels Humid
An AC unit also has the responsibility to regulate the humidity inside the house. This is one of the reasons why you can feel refreshed inside even when it’s hot and humid outside.
If you feel sticky, however, this means the unit is not doing its job the right way. It may need a simple recalibration to get it to working order right away. However, it might need more serious repairs to fix the issue.
In either case, don’t treat this as a simple issue that you don’t need to prioritize. It can be dangerous since high-humidity environments foster mold growth. This will threaten the health of your family if they keep inhaling moldy air.
Even if that’s not the case, a humid room is uncomfortable, especially during the summer months.
- Your Electricity Bills Are Rising
The AC may be functioning like normal with no signs of issues. However, it may still be wise for you to have it checked if you find that your electricity bills have spiked even with normal usage.
A spike in electricity bills can also be due to the other old appliances in your house. But a quick visit from a home AC repair tech can determine if the cause is the HVAC system.
If it is, it may be because of leaky ductwork or a problem with the thermostat. It can also mean the unit isn’t as efficient as before, which can indicate old age.
- Your AC Is Past Its Prime
Speaking of, a good reason to replace the unit is old age. If it’s older than 10 years, it’s in your best interest to replace it to avoid frequent breakdowns and rising utility costs.
Old AC units are inefficient, costing you more in energy today. It won’t be able to cool the room like before, especially since summers are hotter today than ever. Newer models adhere to modern efficiency standards.
A new unit might cost you a pretty penny, but you will eventually get it back in savings on your bills. You also won’t have to worry about other expenses like an AC repair, part replacements, and such.
Get a Professional AC Repair Technician
Whichever problem you’re dealing with, it’s best to call an AC repair tech at once. Professionals can diagnose and handle the problem without causing other issues. They also have the experience and knowledge to provide valuable opinion on what you need to do.
But why stop here? If you want to learn more, feel free to read our other blog posts today.
The Yucatan Times