Top 10 Signs You Should Service Your AC
There are many things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your AC unit working. One of the most important is to be able to recognize the signs that your unit needs service. Air conditioning units don’t last as long as they used to, but regular maintenance and repair can help extend their lifespan.
1. Unpleasant Smells
If you turn on your AC and the room smells like something is burning, it could be a sign of an electrical problem. This smell usually means that a motor is overheating or there is a short circuit. It can also mean that there’s a flammable material leaking into your air duct system. Another common culprit is a dead animal, such as skunks or mice. These animals will often climb into your ductwork and die there. The animal’s waste will then linger in your ductwork and release a foul odor that can be detected by anyone in the house.
2. Not Enough Humidity Removed
Most people love their air conditioners, especially when they’re running during hot summer days. However, the best thing about this technology is that it cools your home while removing excess moisture from the air as well. But, when your AC can’t remove enough humidity, it’s not as effective in cooling your home. You may feel uncomfortable even with the coolest temperature setting, and you might notice that your energy bills are higher than usual.
3. High Energy Bills
If your energy bill suddenly spikes, it may be a sign that something is wrong with your AC unit. That can be especially frustrating because it can be difficult to determine what’s causing it, but it’s important to pay attention to your bills as they come in. The average American household uses $118 per month for electricity alone, and that cost can easily increase over time.
4. Strange Noises
Strange noises in your home aren’t necessarily a sign of spooky activity, but they might be a sign that your air conditioner needs servicing. If you hear a sound that sounds like a grinding or scraping, it could mean a problem with the belt that drives your AC unit. A belt that isn’t properly aligned can cause other issues with the air conditioner, and it’s important to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to get your ductwork checked by a professional if you hear strange noises during the winter. Birds, mice and raccoons can crawl into your ductwork and cause blockages that lead to higher energy bills and poor indoor air quality.
5. Water Leaks
When you’re using your air conditioner, it can sometimes create condensation that drips down the evaporator coil. This is normal and will usually dry up after the cycle. But if your AC unit is constantly leaking water, it could be an indicator of a bigger problem. Excessive leakage can lead to damage to your home and a risk of mold growth. If your unit is leaking, contact an HVAC technician to take a look. They can diagnose the problem and help you decide on a solution that’s best for your home.
6. Warm Air From Vents
If your vents are blowing warm air instead of cool, it may be a sign that there is a problem with the ducts. Ducts are where cooled air is sent to the different rooms in your home through a series of openings in the walls, ceilings and floors. The ducts can get damaged from construction projects, birds and rodents over time. This can lead to problems with air flow that will eventually cause the AC to blow warm air. If this is the case, you need to have a professional technician take a look at your ductwork to make sure it’s in good working condition. This will prevent air flow issues and ensure your AC unit is not blowing warm air when it should be cold.
7. Thermostat Doesn’t Match Room’s Temperature
Typically, when the temperature of a room doesn’t match the thermostat setting, there are several possible causes. Some of them can be fixed easily, while others are more complicated and require professional help. Often, this issue is caused by dirt and static electricity on the device. It can also be an issue with its calibration and wiring. This issue can be a sign that your thermostat is out of date, which means you should replace it with a new one. Usually, newer thermostats are more accurate and don’t have these issues. You can test if your thermostat is working by taping an accurate thermometer next to it. Then, check the readings after fifteen minutes.
8. The Thermostat Isn’t Working At All
Thermostats use sensors to monitor the temperature and give you the right setting for your home. If the sensor isn’t working properly, your thermostat may not be able to send the correct commands to the AC unit. To fix this, you’ll need to check the thermostat’s wiring and battery. This can be a tricky job, so you’ll need to work with a qualified technician.
9. The AC Is Past Its Lifespan
The air conditioning unit in your home can last a long time if it is properly maintained. Just like your car, HVAC systems will require regular tune-ups and minor repairs to keep them running smoothly. The life expectancy of an AC system is largely determined by the type, brand and installation. It also depends on how often it is used. For example, air conditioners that are sized properly for their space can last longer than those that are too large to cool their entire area. Additionally, using less electricity by turning off the unit or setting a fan on low can prolong its lifespan.
10. Uncomfortable Temperatures
A sweltering summer day may be no match for a properly operating air conditioning system. A well-maintained HVAC unit that is regularly serviced can save you money on power bills while also increasing your home’s longevity and occupants safety. You should have a licensed heating and air conditioning technician inspect your HVAC unit at least once a year to get the most out of its performance. You should also consider a yearly preventive maintenance plan for the health of your family and the resale value of your home. A properly functioning AC unit is the backbone to a successful and happy family. Be sure to check out our blog for more home improvement tips and tricks. Let us know if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!