The official end of summer is near, and soon it will be time to start thinking about our heating systems (in fact, it’s not too early to think about scheduling heating maintenance!) You’ve likely been using your air conditioner fairly consistently over the last few months, and the last thing you need now is a sudden breakdown or huge repair issue when you still need your system.
The good news is, most air conditioning repair needs show signs and symptoms well before they force your system to shut down. So if you notice anything now, it’s a good idea to give us a call. This way you’ll be able to rely on your system not only for the rest of this summer, but when you start to use it as temperatures warm up again next year, too.
You should never attempt to formally diagnose or repair a faulty AC on your own—particularly because they have potentially dangerous components such as refrigerant) but you can definitely spot the signs that it’s time to call in a pro. We’ve covered some of the most common below!
These Symptoms Indicate an AC in Disrepair
- Low Airflow: Cooled air that isn’t moving through your vents with the speed or power you are used to indicates a problem. It typically means that air is trapped somewhere within your system, which can cause the coils to freeze. It could, alternatively, mean that you have ductwork damage and conditioned air is escaping into unoccupied spaces. Reduced airflow is not only a symptom of a problem, but it’s a problem on its own as it won’t be able to keep you cool.
- Reduced Cooling Levels: So let’s say the airflow seems strong, but the air seems lukewarm. What gives, right? Factors like refrigerant leaks, overheating components, or—again—ductwork damage, can all contribute to a decreased ability to cool your living space. Reduced cooling is similar to reduced airflow in that it’s both a symptom of a problem, and a problem in itself. It will ultimately cause your air conditioner to work harder than it should have to in order to keep you cool, which is inefficient.
- Short-Cycling: This is when an air conditioning system turns on and off rapidly without ever running for very long. Your air conditioner uses more energy turning on and turning off than it does simply running, so you want yours to run for at least 15 minutes at a time. Otherwise, it’s usually a sign of something seriously wrong.
- Odd Noises: This counts as anything that’s outside the norm of what you typically hear coming from your air conditioner. It might include humming, moaning, buzzing, clanging, or hissing. If you notice any of these sounds, the best thing you can do for your cooling system is call in an HVAC repair pro right away. Especially since some noises can indicate a particularly dangerous problem (i.e. buzzing indicates an electrical problem!)