Did you know that the US has been a world leader in air conditioning? It consumes more energy through air conditioning than any other country. Talking about energy consumption, how much does your AC consume?
Unless you are among the few homeowners who conduct a routine AC maintenance check, it must be consuming quite a lot. The bigger problem with this is that you may not even know it. Your central air conditioning may be built to thrive through all conditions, but air conditioning maintenance is necessary because, like all appliances, it could malfunction and need repairs or even a replacement.
The question is, how do you know when your air conditioning system needs maintenance? In this post, we’ll address seven telltale signs that your AC needs a tune-up.
1. Your AC Is Making Strange Noises
Strange noises that usually don’t come from the AC are the surest sign that there is something wrong with it, and an air conditioning maintenance tune-up is due. The only subtle noise your AC should be making is the whirling of the condenser fan. The thing is, if you have an older AC, you may have gotten used to any strange sounds that come from it, but any sound from buzzing, whistling, hissing, and the like are not normal.
If you have been hearing clunking noises, chances are you have loose components in the AC, or something is stuck and needs to be removed.
If, on the other hand, you have heard squeaking or squealing sounds, then you are dealing with a loose or broken belt. A buzzing sound is usually a signal of a blockage, and a humming sound could be damaged blades or a dying motor.
2. Hiked Utility Bills
When an AC malfunctions, it works harder than necessary, which results in the consumption of more power and, ultimately, high utility bills.
If you have been observing hiked utility bills without adding any other appliances that could be consuming the extra power, there is a high chance your AC is the culprit. When an AC is not properly maintained, it retains dirt, dust, and debris, all of which disables functionality and makes it run harder than it should.
An air conditioning maintenance tune-up may be necessary at this point, and it’s advisable to hire a professional technician who will find the core issues and fix them. This tune-up will not only help reduce your energy bills but extend the life of your air conditioning system as well.
3. The AC Is Short Cycling
One of the most common AC issues and a telltale sign that it needs a maintenance tune-up is short cycling.
Short cycling is when your air conditioner runs for a while, then turns off and starts again repeatedly. Some of the most significant problems of short cycling are that the AC takes too long to maintain the desired temperatures and consumes too much energy.
This issue can be caused by a variety of factors like control board issues, inadequate refrigerant levels, dysfunctional evaporator coils, and clogged air filters. Given that it’s not a straightforward problem, the best way to solve is by conducting an air conditioning maintenance tune-up immediately.
4. You Found Fluid Leaking By the Condenser
Another sign that you need to have your air conditioning maintenance check-up is fluid leaks. The fluid leaking from your condenser is known as refrigerant, and it is vital to the functionality of the air conditioner. If by any chance, the refrigerant leaks out, the air conditioning unit will be utterly inefficient.
There’s one primary reason why the refrigerant could be leaking, which is a punctured refrigerant line. This is the line that connects the condenser to the system in the house and is usually located about a foot above the ground.
Given that the condenser is located outside the house, any physical item like a tree branch or a rock could fall on the line and damage it, leading to a leak. If this is what you’re facing, then you need to have a technician patch it up and fill up the refrigerant back to the optimum level.
5. The AC Is Responding Slowly
When you make temperature changes to your thermostat, your AC should correspond immediately. However, if it takes as long as 30 seconds or more to fire up, then you have an AC problem that needs fixing. You could be facing either one of two problems.
First, it could be the thermostat, and two, it could be the thermostat sensors. The sensors could be dirty, and the thermostat could be faulty, but either way, you need the services of an air conditioning service.
6. You’re Smelling Foul Odors From the AC
Bad odors are another sign that your AC could be needing a maintenance check. If your AC is emitting bad odors, it could be for a variety of reasons, with the most common one being mold growth. Mold usually grows and thrives in areas prone to moisture, so if there’s any moisture getting in your AC, then mold will undoubtedly grow.
The thing is, mold can spread to your duct system as well. In this case, you’ll not only need an air conditioning repair service but a mold inspector as well to avoid mold contamination in your home. The bad odor could also mean that the wire insulation needs to be changed, or you have a trapped rodent giving off the pungent smell.
7. The AC Is Unable to Control the Humidity Levels
During the summer and spring months, the air is usually quite sticky. However, the air conditioner is able to take care of it automatically, and your indoor air quality doesn’t have to be sticky. If you notice that your indoor air is sticky, then your AC is not working efficiently.
In this case, the refrigerant could also be low, and the evaporator coil may not be getting cold enough. This results in the inability to cool the air sufficient to remove the humidity from the air. A professional AC technician will fill the refrigerant, fix the coil, and get your AC running smoothly again.
Most Common Signs You Need Air Conditioning Maintenance
If you’re experiencing one or more of the signs above, then you undoubtedly need to have an air conditioning maintenance tune-up immediately. After that, ensure you always get routine maintenance check-ups at least once a year to ensure optimum efficiency and longevity.
Now that you know exactly what your AC needs, our professionals at Infinity Texas Air will be more than glad to serve you. Please contact our team, and we’ll send one of our technicians immediately!