6 Signs You Need Air Conditioning Repairs
The last thing you need is your air conditioner breaking down when the extreme weather arrives. That’s why it’s always wise to check if you need air conditioning repairs while the temperature is still mild.
But what are the telltale signs that your heating and cooling system is on the verge of failure? Of course, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) experts will always tell you that regular maintenance is necessary and will keep your system running for a long time. However, many people tend to ignore those warnings.
It always pays to test your air conditioning system before the real heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter really takes hold. That way you can book a HVAC technician, if you need to, before the rush is on.
Aside from basic functions such as cleaning or changing the filters, don’t attempt to do air conditioning maintenance yourself. This work should be done by a qualified heating and cooling specialist.
Most Common AC Problems
Different types of air conditioning systems require different types of care. Not all of them function well in the same conditions.
A central ducted system, for example, experiences problems when rooms are closed off and air flow in the home is interrupted. For a single-room air conditioner, the system functions best in a closed-off room.
Here are some of the most common air conditioning problems:
- Refrigerant leaks
- Lack of maintenance
- Sensor problems
- Drainage problems
- Electrical failure
Let’s take a look in more detail at six signs that indicate you need air conditioning repairs.
1. Warm Air from Your Vents
When you arrive home on a blisteringly hot day and your air conditioning system delivers nothing but warm air, that’s when you’re going to be annoyed that you didn’t test the system when you should have.
Before hitting the panic button, check the thermostat and make sure it’s switched to cooling mode. If it is set properly, then you might be facing a problem with the compressor (or outdoor unit).
The same applies, of course, if you’ve got a reverse cycle system and you’re not getting the warm air you desire in winter – check the mode before calling an air conditioning specialist.
2. Poor Airflow
If you’re experiencing poor airflow from your system, it’s a sign that there might be a blockage that is preventing the air from flowing as it should.
In a ducted system, the blockage could be due to a buildup of debris. It could also be a dirty filter that is stopping the flow of air.
Even if the air is set to the temperature you desire, a weak flow of air will fail to cool or heat the room sufficiently and your system will fail to do its job. This problem is hard to diagnose, so make sure you consult a heating and cooling specialist.
3. Is Your Home Humid?
One of the main jobs of an air conditioner is to reduce humidity within your home. If you’re noticing a high moisture content in the air despite regularly using your air conditioner, then you’re in need of repairs.
In this case, your air conditioning system may need to be recalibrated. In some areas that experience a high level of humidity, many people use a dehumidifier as well as air conditioning. These two appliances can complement each other and work effectively together but, if neither is working, you’ll need to assess which one is malfunctioning.
4. Is Your System Leaking?
Air conditioning systems use refrigerant and also produce some level of condensation, but neither of these liquids should leak into your house.
If you notice a pool of water or refrigerant under your air conditioning unit, it’s a sure sign that your system is not functioning properly. In the case of refrigerant leak, don’t forget that this is a poisonous liquid.
Whatever liquid your AC system is leaking, it’s a sign that you’ve got problems and need to call a heating and cooling specialist.
5. Strange Noises from Your AC System
If you’re hearing strange noises coming from your air conditioner – which could be a grinding or scraping sound – it could be a sign that a belt is out of place or has become detached.
This is not a problem that can be ignored as it will lead to costly damage if not fixed quickly. A whistling sound could indicate your system isn’t getting enough airflow through the vents, which could be something even more serious.
Loose parts within the system will not fix themselves. In such a case, make sure you speak with a HVAC professional immediately.
6. Does Your Air Conditioning Smell?
An air conditioning system is meant to provide quality air, it’s not meant to deliver bad smells. If you’re experiencing unpleasant odours when the AC system is switched on, it’s a sign you’ve got a problem.
A bad odour may indicate a burned-out wire, while a mustier smell may be a sign of mould within the system. Your system may be in need of a tune-up or it could be a deeper problem.
If you’ve got a ducted system, it might be overdue for duct cleaning. Ignoring this problem can lead to health issues for you and your family, so it’s not something that can be put off.
Is It Time for a Change?
If you are experiencing any (or perhaps all) of the above problems, it can be a sign of your heating and cooling system’s age. If your air conditioner is 10 or more years old, it is probably on its last legs and needs to be replaced.
The best way to give your AC system a long life is regular maintenance, but all systems eventually reach the end of the line. It could well be time for an air conditioner upgrade. Whatever your choice, make sure you speak with a HVAC professional for advice before getting any air conditioning repairs done.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.