Home AC systems are easy to ignore when they’re doing their job. Other than some seasonal maintenance and air filter changes, your unit should operate smoothly throughout the year. However, they are prone to mechanical failures that always seem to happen at the worst possible time. Watching out for these four warning signs helps you plan for repairs before you have to deal with a major catastrophe.
Unusually High Utility Bill
Electric bills often fluctuate throughout the year, but you should have a general idea of what is normal for the season. Receiving a high utility bill is a sign that your AC unit is working harder than normal. It may also be rapid cycling due to issues with the compressor or thermostat.
If you have recently upgraded or replaced the air conditioning system, you should check to ensure that it is getting sufficient power. A larger air conditioning system could have energy demands that exceed what the wiring can provide. While the wiring may be able to meet this electrical need when the system is first installed, it will gradually degrade. If you find that the wiring is unable to handle this voltage, upgrades will have to be performed as soon as possible to minimize the risk of an electrical fire or other problem arising.
People are often confused as to how their AC unit can still be technically working even though it isn’t cooling their house. Feeling warm air coming through the vents often means that your system has a refrigerant leak. Finding an AC repair professional can get cold air blowing through your house within just a short period of time. Make sure that the proper tools are being utilized when repairing your unit. Properly fixing your AC will help extend its lifespan significantly.
You might occasionally notice the sound of your AC system clicking on or the fan blowing outside. However, you shouldn’t find normal noises to be disruptive. Screeching, squealing, or banging noises are worth investigating. This could be a sign that the system has a component that is off track or freezing up.
Unit Shuts Off
AC systems are built with safety mechanisms that help them to shut off if they overheat. The reason behind this could be as simple as a dirty filter, but the problem could be more serious. Thermostat issues, frozen evaporator coils, and compressor failures are all potential causes, and you might not be able to identify the issue yourself. When you arrange for an inspection, be prepared to tell the technician if you notice the issue occurring sporadically or if the unit just shut down and never came back on again.
Dirty Interior and Exterior
Regularly removing the dirt and other debris that gathers on the system can significantly boost its performance. This is due to these substances being able to limit air circulation. On that exterior portion of the unit, this will limit the amount of air that can be pulled into the unit. When the vents in the home become dirty, they can limit the amount of cool air that enters the rooms. In addition to improving the cooling ability of your system, this may also help to improve the air quality in your home as it can reduce the amount of dust and other allergens that are in the air.
Lack of Circulation
Some homes will have a design that makes adequately circulating air more difficult for the system. As a result, there may be some areas of the home that are extremely cool while others may be uncomfortably warm. A simple and highly effective option for improving air circulation will be to place fans in areas where the air is stagnant. Ideally, this should be a ceiling fan as these are extremely efficient at circulating air, but portable fans can also be effective. For additional help, reach out to a professional.
Some AC failures happen slowly over time, and you might even be able to avoid having to replace the unit if you fix the issue in time. Other times, the AC may just reach the end of its life. In either case, dealing with the problem before it completely breaks helps you make the best decisions without the pressure of sitting in rapidly rising temperatures.