10 Signs Your A/C System Needs Service
If you never got around to scheduling your annual cooling tune-up, you may experience various problems. From feeling, seeing, hearing and even smelling, here are 10 signs that let you know you should schedule a service call with us.
- The A/C unit is on but blowing warm air. This usually means that your A/C is low on refrigerant or having a problem with its compressor.
- The airflow is weak. This often indicates that the compressor is failing or that you have a duct leak. Either way, it means less comfort and higher bills for you.
- Your electric bills increase. Higher than average bills can result from problems ranging from duct leaks to a faulty thermostat – and everything in between.
- Your air conditioner is “short cycling.” If your air conditioner runs for short lengths of time and then shuts off before completing a full cooling cycle, it’s working harder than it should. There may be problems with the electrical system, the refrigerant may be low or the air filter may be clogged.
- Your home is cool but too humid. The main cause is usually an oversized air conditioner. A system that is too big and powerful for your home operates fast enough to cool your home, but not long enough to draw out the humid air.
- You hear strange sounds. Unusual sounds – including grinding, scraping and squealing – usually indicate that there is a worn or loose part somewhere. Serious air conditioning repairs are on the horizon if you ignore this problem.
- You notice unusual smells. An electrical smell often means that wire insulation has burned out somewhere in your A/C system. If you detect a musty smell, you may have moldy ductwork.
- Water or refrigerant is leaking. Liquid around your A/C unit could indicate a serious problem – a refrigerant leak, for example, or a clogged condensate drain that causes water to back up in your home.
- You need frequent repairs. If you’ve been calling for A/C repairs the last few years, it’s probably high time for an A/C upgrade. This is recommended if you have an A/C system that uses old R-22 refrigerant, which is not being manufactured anymore. Replacing R-22 refrigerant that has leaked out of your system is a very expensive repair.
- Your A/C system is past retirement age. Today’s air conditioners typically last 12 to 15 years. Towards the end of its life cycle, your air conditioner will start to drop in efficiency, especially if it has not been properly maintained. By investing in a new, high efficiency HVAC system, you will ultimately save enough to offset the cost of your equipment.
Are you seeing any of these signs with your home air conditioner? Contact us today to schedule A/C service. And don’t worry: If your A/C breaks down in the midst of a long, hot summer day and you’re an air conditioning service plan customer, you will receive priority emergency service, along with savings on repairs.
Quick Tips to Save Energy and Money
These five tips will help you keep your cool and save money too.
- Raise the temperature when A/C is not needed. If you’re away from home for at least eight hours or asleep for the night, program your thermostat for a higher temperature. However, there is no need to raise the setting if you go out for a short while; this wastes money. If you have a smart thermostat, you can change the setting remotely anytime you want from your smart phone.
- Maintain your A/C. The efficiency of your air conditioner could drop 5% or more in a single season if it’s not properly maintained. Stay on top of routine annual maintenance by enrolling in a service plan. You should also check the condition of your air filters on a regular basis.
- Clear obstructions. Don’t cool your chair – cool the air! Rearrange your furniture to make sure it doesn’t block your A/C vents.
- Cool in moderation. Keeping your air conditioner around 78°F is a good starting point to balance performance and comfort.
- Use ceiling fans. Air that keeps circulating in your home feels cooler — kind of like a summer breeze. In the summer, fan blades should turn counter-clockwise (as you look up at them). This pushes cool air down.