Well here we are halfway into Summer 2018 here in Massachusetts…how is your home cooling system holding up?
If you got annual air conditioning maintenance before summer began, chances are your central air conditioner or ductless system is in good shape right now. But if you skipped your A/C tune-up – especially if you have an older home cooling system – you may be seeing, hearing, or even smelling some problems in the weeks ahead.
Here are ten signs that it’s time to repair (or possibly replace) your A/C unit:
It’s blowing warm air – Warm air coming from your vents is usually a sign that your air conditioner is either low on refrigerant or is having a problem with its compressor. Either way, you’ll need professional service.
It’s not blowing enough air – Weak airflow is often a sign that either the compressor is failing or that you have a duct leak; either way, it means less comfort for your family and that an A/C repair is likely to be in the cards for you soon.
It’s stopping and starting too frequently – If your air conditioner runs for short lengths of time before it shuts off (also known as “cycling”), it’s probably working harder than it should to keep you cool; it could also be a thermostat problem. Either way, it’s time to have an expert take a look.
It’s making weird noises – High pitched grinding, scraping or squealing could indicate a worn down or lose part somewhere in your system. More serious repairs are almost certainly coming if you don’t take care of the problem quickly.
It’s making weird smells – A strong electrical smell often means that wire insulation has burned out somewhere in your A/C system; a musty smell could mean you have a mold problem in your ductwork. Either way…well, you know what to do.
It’s making the air more humid – Air conditioners reduce indoor humidity – they don’t add to it. If your home air feels more humid with the A/C on, your equipment probably needs service.
It’s making a wet mess – Fluid around your A/C unit often indicates a serious problem. For one thing, refrigerant – Freon, in older units – is poisonous; when you have a Freon leak, your A/C will usually blow warm air. Even water leaks indicate a problem that a professional will have to address.
It’s making you pay more – An unusually high electric bill in the summer can mean a problem ranging from duct leaks to a broken thermostat – and everything in between. You need professional detective work from an HVAC pro.
It’s making you call more – If you and your technician have been seeing a lot of each other lately, it’s probably time to upgrade your air conditioner. You’ll save money on future repairs, reduce your energy bill, and not have to worry about anything beyond routine maintenance years to come.
It’s just plain old – A typical central air conditioner will last 10-15 years – but that doesn’t mean it will perform well in its later years. Much of that depends on how well the unit has been maintained. But once your air conditioner makes it past the 10 year mark, it rarely pays to fix the unit – especially when you consider the performance of today’s high efficiency HVAC systems.