Imagine this scene playing out in your home: You’re relaxing in your living room on an 85° day with 65% humidity. It’s sweltering out there! But that’s okay because your air conditioning system is blasting away, providing you will cool air that makes you feel perfectly comfortable. Until suddenly, it isn’t.
You run over to your thermostat. Maybe someone changed the setting on it? Nope, the settings are what they should be. You check your circuit breaker–maybe the HVAC circuit breaker has tripped and needs to be reset. Nope, that’s not it either. So, what’s the problem?
You go ahead and call for emergency repair, but it will be a while before a pro shows up because this is a common time of year for those emergencies to happen. Suddenly, your relaxing afternoon isn’t so relaxing anymore, right?
Fortunately, almost all air conditioner breakdowns can be prevented, simply by knowing the signs that your air conditioner is struggling and needs repair. What are these signs? Read on to find out!
Preventing Air Conditioner Breakdowns
The first step in preventing sudden air conditioning breakdown is to schedule routine maintenance every year. It’s usually best to have this service done each spring. But consistency is what matters the most here. If you’re having it done at least once a year, then the time of year isn’t as important.
The next step in preventing sudden AC breakdowns is, as we mentioned above, knowing the signs that you have repair needs, which includes:
This problem has a few potential causes. The first thing you should do is check your air filter. The HVAC air filter should be changed out every 1-3 months in order to help protect your air conditioner and improve airflow. Alternatively, airflow problems can be caused by breached ductwork. The best thing to do when you discover reduced airflow is to call our team!
Low Cooling Power
Sometimes the problem isn’t that the air isn’t powerful enough, but rather that the air coming out of your vents isn’t cool enough. This may be the sign of a refrigerant leak. There’s a relatively common myth that refrigerant is like a fuel–that it runs out and has to be refilled every now and then.
However, your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant upon manufacturing to ideally last its entire lifespan. So if it’s losing refrigerant, it means that the leak needs to be located and repaired.
So, what constitutes a strange noise? Pretty much anything that’s out of the ordinary to what you usually hear from your air conditioner on a day-to-day basis. This can include short-cycling (your AC is rapidly turning on and off and not completing a full cooling cycle), screeching, hissing, clanging, or banging. These can be signs of an electrical issue within the system, worn motor bearings that need replacing, a refrigerant leak, or even loose components.
Higher Than Average Utility Bills
Have you noticed that your energy bills are much higher than they were this time last year? How about in comparison to what your neighbors are paying? If they’re a lot more, then it’s a sign that something is working inefficiently, and it could very well be your air conditioner to blame!
Give us a call if you notice any of these signs we just mentioned, or really anything out of the ordinary with your cooling system.