Summer is primetime for air conditioner issues, which makes sense considering how many hours a day the average household uses theirs. If you are relying on your air conditioner to keep cool throughout the daylight hours, you should be especially vigilant for any signs that the system is developing a problem. You can’t completely prevent the possibility of issue occurring, of course. If you react quickly, though, you can at least mitigate the damage with quick repairs. Have a look at some common signs that your AC is in trouble.
If your air conditioner isn’t blowing enough air, or the air that it’s blowing isn’t cool enough, don’t ignore it. That’s a sign of some sort of issue with the system. There are a number of possible reasons why your air conditioner might be acting that way. You might have a refrigerant leak, which is probably the worst possible issue.
Refrigerant leaks drop the refrigerant level in the air conditioner, causing its output capacity to fall, as well. If the leak isn’t patched, and the lost refrigerant replaced, the level will eventually drop low enough that the air conditioner will break down entirely.
It’s also possible that you have a clogged air filter or a damaged air handler. Both of these issues would cut down on the system’s ability to circulate air, even if it’s cooling the air it receives just fine. You’ll need to have a professional examine your system to find out the exact cause.
Short cycling is when the air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes. This can be caused by an electrical issue, or possibly by a damaged compressor. Whatever is causing it, you should know that this is one of the most dangerous problems that an air conditioner can face.
Short cycling accelerates the rate at which the air conditioner wears down during use. It also severely hinders the system’s ability to properly cool the home, as it cannot complete a full cooling cycle. If the issue isn’t fixed quickly enough, the added wear and tear will cause parts to break down more often and shorten the lifespan of the system. You should call for repairs immediately if you notice that your system is doing this.
If you’ve had your air conditioner for any length of time, you probably know what it’s supposed to sound like when it’s on. If you start to hear any odd noises coming from the air conditioner, it’s a good idea to call a professional to check on it. Odd sounds could mean any number of things, but most of the time they indicate some kind of problem with the system. How severe the problem depends on the sound. Gurgling often means air bubbles in the refrigerant line, which means you have a leak. Grinding indicates that the air handler bearings are failing, and need to be replaced. Make sure you have a professional check your air conditioner out if you hear anything unusual, even if you’re not entirely sure what it is.
HVAC equipment standards are constantly changing. More regulations are on the horizon — and they might be coming into effect much sooner than you’d expect.