Keeping your AC functioning and problem-free is a critical step in keeping your home safe and comfortable during these hot months. Although it is possible to experience an outright unexpected failure in your HVAC system, there are often signs that you can look for prior to a failure that can alert you in advance and indicate that you may need repair or inspection on the system.
Warmer air than expected is coming from your vents.
If you find yourself having to set your thermostat lower than what the ambient temperature of your home actually is in order to find the ‘sweet spot’, this would certainly indicate a problem that needs addressing. This may be caused by restricted airflow or an issue with the compressor or that the cooling coils are overheating. It may also be an electrical issue or indicative of the coolant pipes freezing over and restricting coolant flow (which often has underlying root causes).
This can be caused by an overly dirty filter which is typically an easy fix. It also can be caused by a blockage in your ducting requiring a duct cleaning service or may also be caused by a failing blower motor or a sizable break in your ducting that requires repair.
Inconstant heating and cooling cycles
If your AC is constantly switching between cool air and warm air or your system is switching back and forth between heating and cooling, this could be an issue with your thermostat or the other aforementioned issues pertaining to warm air coming from your vents during a cooling cycle. It could also be related to dirty air filters which limit airflow.
Your AC should deliver dry, clean air and if there is high humidity in your home, it’s an indicator that something may be wrong with your HVAC system. This may mean that your evaporator coils are broken or damaged. It might also be an electrical problem, or indicate a failing AC unit itself.
Refrigerant is a fluid used in air conditioning that absorbs heat and provides cool air through compressors and evaporators. It usually goes through a process of transitioning from liquid to gas and back to gas repeatedly. Refrigerant can leak out of your AC and damage the surrounding infrastructure. It’s also hazardous and a leak can be very dangerous. If you see a leak coming from any part of your HVAC system or around your AC unit, make sure to give us a call as soon as possible.
Odors coming from your AC
If musky, dank or dusty odors are coming from your AC, you may need a duct cleaning or a repair technician. If the smell is more of a burning or electrical smell, it can indicate an HVAC unit failure. It can also mean an overly dirty air filter. If smells become persistent, or if you’re simply looking for better air quality, a UV light sanitization system can be installed in tandem with your existing heating and cooling system to kill bacteria and keep your air clean. It’s also not uncommon for animals to get stuck in an AC unit or even in your ducting and die. The smell can then be carried over by the cooling air created by the unit.
Air conditioners usually make some light noise when working properly. But overtly rattling noises may mean there is a loose part or faulty blower motor, debris in your ducting, or faulty or leaky ducts.
A residential HVAC system is complex and will eventually need attention at some point. It’s important to know the signs of a problem before they get worse as it is always easier to fix a small problem before it turns into something larger which is why having your AC unit regularly serviced is a good idea.