It’s the hottest part of summer. The heat and humidity seem to be worse every day. Walking into a cool house from the sweltering heat is one of the best things we can think of. The last thing you want right now is for your air conditioner to fail. Air conditioning units usually last about 10 years. If yours is getting close to that age, it’s time to start looking for warning signs that it may fail soon.
The Unit Isn’t Cooling as Well
Usually, your air conditioner starts to lose some cooling ability before it needs to be replaced. If you notice that it’s warmer in your house than usual, you may want to start planning for a repair or replacement. You’ll at least need to look for a few things that could be the culprit.
When the air conditioner isn’t cooling as well, you may not need a replacement right away. It could be a clogged air filter, clogged return duct, compressor failure, or low refrigerant levels. You can check the filter easily yourself. If it’s clogged, that’s easy to address. If the copper line to the condenser is warm, your compressor may be failing or you may need more refrigerant. If you see frost or ice on the pipes, you’ll need to get a professional to add refrigerant or check for blockage.
Your Air Conditioner is Noisy
When you turn on the air conditioner, you should hear the sound of air coming through the vents. When you’re near the unit itself, all you should hear is the sound of the unit quietly humming. If you hear more noise, there’s probably something wrong with the unit. Squealing, grinding, or knocking are not noises you want to hear from your air conditioning unit.
If you do hear noises, the best thing you can do is get a technician to look at the unit to see what’s causing the noise. It may be a simple fix if you catch it early. But if you ignore it, it may lead to a more expensive repair, or you may even have to replace the entire unit. In cases where you do need a replacement, it’s best to know as early as possible so you have more time to plan.
You Smell Something Funny
Your air conditioner shouldn’t have any smells. If it does, you definitely need to check it out. The most common smells are from mold, mildew, or burning wires. You could also have a pest issue or a dead animal in your system. All of these can cause major problems that can lead to an expensive repair or replacement.
You can check several things yourself to see if you can find the problem. You can also clean some parts of the air conditioning unit yourself, but if the smell is in the ductwork, you’ll probably want to call a technician to come out and check.
If your unit requires frequent repairs or your utility bills are unusually high, that may also be a sign that you need to repair or replace your air conditioning unit. Keep an eye out for these problems to ensure that you have cool air in your home during these hot summer months.