The hot days of summer may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean you should let routine AC maintenance fall by the wayside!
Experts recommend that you have a professional come out to inspect your air conditioner at least once a year, as unserviced units can lose up to 5% of their efficiency each year. Without proper maintenance, you may find that smaller issues snowball into major headaches—or that you end up sinking thousands of dollars into costly AC repair you wouldn’t have needed otherwise.
Of course, it’s also worth noting that even if you are up to date on routine maintenance, there are a few clear signs that it may be time to have your air conditioner checked again. Below is a quick list of red flags to look out for to keep your AC running like new.
1. Your AC Won’t Blow Cold Air
If the air circulating through your home doesn’t feel cool anymore, it’s possible that you have a damaged AC that’s blowing room-temperature air. This may also be true if you notice that the circulating air isn’t as cool as it used to be.
There are a number of reasons why your AC may struggle to keep your home’s temperature comfortable. In some cases, you may have issues with the condenser, air leakage from your ducts, or even low refrigerant levels. An AC technician can inspect your entire unit to identify the issue at hand.
2. The Air Isn’t Circulating Well
On the other hand, you might have noticed that while your AC is blowing cold air, that air isn’t filtering into your rooms as much as it should.
In some cases, this may require a simple DIY fix.
For example, many homeowners don’t change their AC’s filters as often as recommended—every 60-90 days, according to experts. Another common problem is a simple blockage around your vents or registers, whether that means a buildup of dust or a piece of furniture preventing air from flowing.
However, if you’ve tried easy fixes to improve your home’s air circulation, it might be time to call for professional AC repair. Common culprits for this issue include bad blower motors or damaged fan control boards.
3. Your AC Cycles Are More Frequent
In an ideal world, your air conditioner will cycle on and off at semi-regular times according to the temperature outside and your desired indoor temperature. This is why you can expect it to power on more often to cool you during a particularly hot summer day.
In some cases, however, you may notice that your AC is cycling on more frequently than expected. This can indicate that you have a broken AC unit that’s struggling to keep up with your regular demands. An AC professional can advise you on whether you’ll need to repair part of your unit or get an upgrade that can better serve your household.
4. You’ve Been Hearing Strange Noises
Every air conditioner will make sounds when cycling on and off, and most homeowners get used to the regular range of expected noises through frequent use.
If you’ve started hearing noises outside of this normal range, it may be a sign that something’s gone wrong. Loud noises like clinking and rattling can indicate that parts of your air conditioner are loose. While these noises may seem like a minor issue, the underlying issue may snowball into more significant problems if left unchecked.
5. Your Unit Is Leaking
Leaking from any part of your air conditioning unit is a bad sign. Whether you’ve noticed water pooling inside your home or refrigerant coming from your evaporator coil, you’ll want to reach out for expert help. Both of these issues can be a sign of larger problems, and refrigerant in particular is a known health hazard.
Furthermore, if you leave leaks and moisture alone, you may be inviting mold and mildew. Within the confines of your air conditioner, these problems can spread throughout your house fast!
Don’t tackle this issue alone: do a search for “AC company near me” to get help as soon as possible.
6. You’ve Noticed Strange Smells
Your air conditioner shouldn’t give off any unusual smells during the normal course of its work, so any strange scent is noteworthy. Smells of must or mildew may indicate an issue with condensation, while a smell of burning may indicate a fraying wire or burned-out insulation.
That’s where an AC repair company comes in. During an inspection, a trained AC technician can both address any serious issues with your unit and perform a complete cleaning session to get rid of the odor in question.
7. Your Energy Bills Have Gone Up
Again, it’s normal to use your air conditioner more often during certain seasons of the year—typically in the summer—than others.
However, a significant and sudden increase in your utility bills may be a sign that your air conditioner is struggling to cool your home as efficiently as it used to. If there’s a problem making your air conditioner work twice as hard to bring your home to a comfortable temperature, you might find yourself with double your normal bill! Unexpected utility expenses are always a sign that you should get your regular AC maintenance taken care of.
Get Your Regular AC Repair and Maintenance
If you’ve noticed any of the issues above, it’s time to reach out for professional help before things get worse. With expert oversight, you’ll be able to fix minor problems before they spiral out of control, allowing you to keep your air conditioner running smoothly all year round. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable local company with any AC repair questions!
Looking for more of the home and real estate tips you need to know? Be sure to check out our other guides for additional insights.