While homeowners in some parts of the country are still using their heaters for the foreseeable future, here in the Woodstock area we’re just about ready to turn them off for the season and turn our attention to our air conditioners. Since this is the case, we hope you’ve already had maintenance done on your cooling system. Professional maintenance allows our technicians to thoroughly inspect your air conditioner. We’ll adjust and clean components that need it, then make recommendations for repairs as needed.
Maintenance helps slow the accumulation of wear and tear and ultimately helps your air conditioner last longer. You also can rest assured knowing you’ll rarely be surprised by unexpected repair needs.
All that said, it’s always a good idea to know the signs that your AC is in disrepair, even if you have had maintenance done already. There are various symptoms a malfunctioning cooling system can display, but there are 3 ominous sounds in particular you should be particularly aware of:
This is most commonly the sign of a refrigerant leak. If the sound resembles hissing, refrigerant may be exiting your system while in gas form, and gurgling—or bubbling—indicates it’s leaving in liquid form. Either way, it’s a bad problem to have.
There’s a bit of a misconception out there about refrigerant. Homeowners have reported being told that refrigerant runs out regularly—that it should be refilled (recharged) once a year or more. But the truth is, your air conditioner is ideally supplied with enough refrigerant upon installation to last its entire lifespan. If you’re losing refrigerant, it means you’re losing cooling power and efficiency, and your wallet is going to suffer for it.
There’s a very important component of your air conditioner called the air handler. It’s responsible for circulating air throughout your home while the air conditioner is operating. The motor inside the air handler takes on a lot of stress, and to help it cope your system has oiled bearings to provide lubrication.
Of course, over time these bearings naturally wear down. As a result, the friction on the air handler motor will increase. This can cause your motor to emit a grinding sound while the system is running. If you hear this, it’s time for you to call for repairs. The bearings will need to be replaced before your AC system overheats and burns out as a result.
Short-cycling is the name given to when your air conditioner turns itself on and off every few minutes, rather than completing a regular, full cooling cycle. If your air conditioner was installed recently and immediately started short-cycling, then we’re afraid we have to tell you your system wasn’t properly sized.
Otherwise, this problem can be caused by an electrical issue. The thing is, short-cycling is both the symptom of a problem and the cause of more problems. It prevents your air conditioner from providing sufficient cooling, and accelerates the rate of which your system wears down. This threatens your cooling system’s efficacy and longevity.