Do I Need a New AC?
Knowing When To Call Your AC Service Professional
For homeowners who have central air as part of an HVAC system or who have a separate central AC unit, it can be a bit confusing to identify problems when they arise. As with all mechanical systems in your home, there are definitive signs when there are problems. On a good note, when an AC/HVAC system is not working up to par, it may not mean that the system needs an entire replacement.
Detecting Air Conditioning Problems
Often when there is a significant problem with your AC/HVAC unit, there has been a lack of proper maintenance on the system. Regular maintenance can detect and correct smaller problems when they arise. Proper maintenance of your AC/HVAC unit extends the life of the unit and allows for early detection of problems when they arise. Early detection of problems ensures that any small parts that need replacing get done in a timely manner, so the system does not run extensively in a compromised state.It should be noted that the older your system is, the more likely that any problems that arise will be more serious unless the system has been well-maintained. All AC/HVAC units will show signs of wear and tear over time. In most cases, some parts will need replacing or some type of repair for almost all units within the first ten years of ownership. However, if cared for properly, repairs and replacements can be handled without extensive cost or downtime.
10 Signs That Show Your Air Conditioning Unit Needs Repair or Replacement Include:
- System Lacks Air Flow
- Leaking Fluids
- Intermittent & Uneven Air Flow
- System Runs Too Cold
- Unusual Noise When Running
- Unusual Odor
- Spike in Electrical Usage
- Poor Output
- System Lacks Cool Air
- Inconsistent Temperature
System Lacks Air Flow
This can occur for several reasons. While it may indicate your system has major defects, it can also occur for Your reasons. If the filter has not been replaced recently, the air flow can be reduced. The system should be checked by a service professional to find the underlying problem.
The System is Leaking Fluids
If your system is leaking a little bit of water, this may simply be condensation. However, if the system is leaking any significant amount of water or refrigerant, this is a significant concern and should be addressed quickly. Refrigerant is toxic to humans, pets, and the environment. If it is leaking, it is a health hazard!
Intermittent & Uneven Air Flow
This usually means that your system is having a basic maintenance problem. When this occurs, some rooms may run cool, while others may lack air flow altogether. This may be indicative of a thermostat problem which is not an extensive or costly repair. However, this may also be a sign your system has a clog in the ductwork which should be readily addressed to prevent system failure. In older units that have not been well-maintained, this can be a sign the system has aged to a point where it is beginning to fail.
System Runs Too Cold
This may mean your system has an internal setting problem. In many cases, this requires a thermostat repair to adjust the settings. This is often not indicative of major problems in the system.
Unusual Noise When Running
This can occur when your system needs to be cleaned and serviced. If it has been recently serviced, additional adjustments are required. Unfortunately, there are occasions when this is a sign that your system is failing. If your system has been well-maintained, the internal system rarely makes strange sounds. Unusual sounds occur in older systems when the motor is faulty, or there are broken parts. Faulty or broken parts can cause your system to make unusual sounds as well as a total system failure. Broken internal parts often require that your have the system replaced.
There are three predominant odors that can emit from your AC unit. The first is a musty smell and is not uncommon and is not a cause for major mechanical concerns. However, this can mean that your home’s ductwork needs cleaning.The second can be the smell of the refrigerant, and this is a cause for concern. If the refrigerant is leaking within the system and it should be readily checked by a certified professional. Lastly, AC units can emit a smell of something burning within the system. If this occurs, the circuit to the system should be turned off, and an HVAC technician should be called right away.
Spike in Electrical Usage
If your utility bills begin to bills for running spike beyond reasonable increases, this is an indication that your ACshould be serviced. Spikes in usage usually indicate the system needs some type of repair or maintenance to help it run more efficiently. This is not usually cause for major concern, but it is an indication that a service call is advisable.
This usually means the motor is having problems running properly. This can be caused by faulty parts, broken belts or system failure. When your system is blowing cold air, but the output is poor, then a professional should be called in to diagnose and repair the problem. If left unattended, your system will likely fail.
System Lacks Cool Air
This can be caused by a problem with the freon. It can also mean the compressor is having problems or that there may be a need for a simple repair and freon replacement. In some cases, the compressor itself may need to be repaired. If your compressor has failed, it may require the system to be replaced. This usually only occurs in older units.
This can be a sign of a thermostat repair or low freon levels. While this can occasionally mean there is a need for replacement, it often only means that your system needs a minor tune-up.
Proper AC Maintenance is Essential to Longevity
A central AC unit should be serviced annually. This helps to ensure that your system is properly cleaned and maintained for the upcoming seasons. During a service call, our service professionals will examine your system and look for any worn or defective parts.
When your system is running a little off, it can be especially important and helpful to inform the technician of any unusual behavior. It is important to do this while maintenance is being done so that the service technician can look through all the system parts and analyze how well they are running. Fall and spring are good times to tune-up your unit. While some people like to have their system serviced at the beginning of summer, there can be delays with servicing at this time because it is the busy season.
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