Knowing when you’ll need an air conditioning service isn’t always hard.
It’s a machine with only one use: making things cold. Much like your refrigerator, when it stops doing this, it’s pretty easy to spot.
The house stops being cool and starts being hot, regardless of what setting you leave the thermostat on. You’re repairing your unit more than you’re actually using it. Something’s wrong.
Still, with the huge array of systems available, and dozens of moving parts in each system, it can be hard to know what’s gone wrong, and how to fix it.
Join us, today, as we unpack ten surefire signs you’re about to need some work done on your air conditioner.
No Cool Air
The first job any air conditioning unit should be able to do is provide cool air.
When that goes out the window, it’s time for a checkup. The change is less likely to be gradual, so you’ll probably notice your unit go from being able to blow cold air to being completely unable to.
Remember that, if your air conditioner is the correct size, it should keep your home or office at the same level of comfort for the duration of its life. If your AC unit does begin to slowly break down, instead of all at once, you’ll notice your home becoming less comfortable with each day that passes.
If you’re having trouble keeping your home cool on the same settings you may need an air conditioning service soon. Treat this as an early warning sign, and follow your intuition as you notice your cooling becoming worse.
Reduced Air Flow
Of course, if not enough cold air is a problem, having a reduced overall airflow can be an issue all unto itself.
When the amount of air coming out of your vents becomes notably lower, the AC’s ability to cool a room becomes compromised. It all has to do with circulation.
A nice, firm airflow coming out of your AC vent does more than just hit your skin harder. It pushes the air around it in a shape that, if firm enough, can take it in circles around a room, bouncing off of walls and solid objects. The motion, backed up by consistent airflow from the vent, creates a sort of three-dimensional closed system.
Airflow meets still air.
Still air becomes airflow.
Flow bounces off of walls, drawers, tables and other furniture, creating an arc that is perpetuated by consistent blowing from the AC.
Without a working system, this air flow won’t work properly, and you’ll need an air conditioning service to get it back on track again.
Wetness, leaking, damp and musky conditions can all arise from a leakage in your overall system. Much like the blood in a human body, however, these fluids should be kept inside of the body at all times.
Look for pooling or puddled water on or near your system. Similarly, spots of mildew around your AC unit imply that water is seeping out, or making the air around your pipe fittings is heavy with water vapor.
Whatever manner it comes in, leaking water is bad news, not only for your AC but for your house in general. Do your best to react to leaks, puddles, and pools of water in good time, so as to avoid damage to your property or more expensive repairs, later on. The sooner you get an air conditioning service in order, the less trouble you’re likely to have.
A general rule of thumb for life is: if a machine has moving parts, you should never hear “new noises” coming from it.
If you hear an unfamiliar grinding noise coming from your machine, for instance. Or a new squealing or scraping noise, or something that sounds like thumping, where there never used to be anything like that.
Anything that legitimately sounds like it might be a problem very well might be. When belts slip out of place or joints fail, they tend to react in a grating or noisy way. The component in question might need replacing or, very often, just some simple lubrication.
You’ll want to call an expert for their air conditioning service insights or run the risk of your AC breaking down, unexpectedly.
Air conditioners are luxury items, no matter what the size or brand name.
They aren’t supposed to smell bad when you turn them on.
If you begin to notice weird smells coming from your AC vents, it might be time to arrange for a servicing. Take note of anything that smells overly pungent, which can indicate the insulation in your wiring may have burned out.
Musty smells, meanwhile, can be a solid indication your AC unit has developed a mold problem at some point in its piping. Most of the time when this happens, it’s because there’s a lack of maintenance, and fungi have begun to settle in.
Whatever the cause, if you notice a new, strong smell from your air con, it’s a good sign something’s gone very wrong, somewhere along the way.
The steering wheel behind every air conditioning system is its thermostat unit. This is where you control the temperature, air flow, and timing of all your air conditioning.
A big part of its job is to take periodic measurements of the air conditioning in your room and make sure it matches the setting you’ve given it.
If this goes, so goes your sweet, climate controlled air.
A good sign the thermostat has thrown in the towel is your AC refusing to turn on. Alternatively, it might run for a few minutes at a time before turning itself off. This often indicates a thermostat malfunction, where the gauge is out of sync with the temperature and is shutting down as a precaution.
This is a complicated repair process and will require the services of a professional to handle properly.
Freon systems, whether in a car or an air conditioner, are closed. This means that, over the course of a product’s lifespan, you should never have to refill them.
So, when yours begins to run out, it’s always a sign of a leak.
Things to look out for include:
- A Loss Of Cooling Power
- The Vents Are Not Blowing Cool Air
- Hissing Sounds
- Frozen Coils
- Higher Electric Bills
Of course, all of these symptoms are easily mistaken for any other problem. You’ll need an expert to look at the system and tell you what is wrong.
And remember: any air conditioning service that claims to be able to “fix” a freon issue just by topping it up is only giving you half an answer. This coolant will only leak out again over time, and it gets more expensive to purchase every time.
If there’s only one leak, a qualified HVAC technician may be able to repair it.
If there are many, they may recommend replacing the cooling system, or even the entire air conditioner unit.
Ridiculous Electricity Bills
Of course, one of the first signs that any high-performance machine is starting to turn sour is in inheriting huge energy bills.
If your power bill suddenly jumps up astronomically, and you haven’t been leaving the AC on all day, you may have an upcoming repair job on your hands.
Causes for this could be anything from broken ducts to a malfunctioning thermostat, and always come down to the same symptom. An electrical bill that’s through the roof.
It’s Over Ten Years Old
Every appliance has its lifespan, and AC units are no exception.
Around your air conditioner’s tenth birthday, expect to start running into a few problems. No matter the brand, a decade is actually getting on in years for an air conditioner, and fifteen years is considered the end of their lifespan.
If you’re in need of air conditioning service repairs and your unit is more than ten years old, most repairmen will tell you to replace the entire thing. While you might be tempted to fight them on it, remember new air conditioning technology means your unit will last for longer.
Regular Air Conditioning Service Work
Our final point today is perhaps the most obvious, but if you regularly need to bump, jiggle, wiggle, or coax your AC into working, it’s a bad sign.
And, not for nothing, if you’ve brought it in for an air conditioning service more than a few times, you’re going to need more long-lasting repairs, as well.
Regular minor repairs might help to save you money on a bigger fix job, but often these are just patching a deeper problem. If you’ve had to do any more than just a few repairs on your cooler, it may be time to unplug it, load it into your car and take it to get properly fixed.
Find An Air Conditioning Service That Works For You
Your air conditioner’s important to you. We understand.
While a malfunctioning AC unit can seem like a pain in the neck you didn’t count on, getting it repaired before it gets any worse can save you time and money.
It’s important not to put it off. And, always remember: a professional will be able to carry off your servicing much more reliably than you might, otherwise.
Interested in learning more about air conditioner, gas, and furnace designs? Get in touch with us today, or check out some of our upcoming blogs, and see what we can do for you.