If there’s anything we dislike as homeowners, it’s the prospect of air conditioning repairs. However, they’re a fact of life! Considering how much we use our cooling systems on a daily basis during the summer, it’s only inevitable that at some point, you’ll need repairs.
Now, we can definitely help you fend off the worst of these repairs, with professional maintenance once a year (or twice a year, if you have a heat pump). The last thing you need, after all, is a sudden breakdown and repair call when temperatures heat their peak.
Does This Mean I Might Never Need Repairs?
Well, no. If you have an aging system, or if you skipped maintenance this year (hey, it’s not too late—give us a call!) then you may be more susceptible to repair issues. The good news here is that these needs usually give off pretty apparent warning signs, which we’ve outlined below.
- Low Airflow: Air that isn’t moving through your vents with the speed and power you expect can be a big issue. Not only are you uncomfortable as a result, it means that your cooled, conditioned air is trapped within the system. This can cause the coils to freeze and create further issues. Plus, reduced airflow means your AC system is working harder than it should have to in order to cool your home—increasing stress on your system and your wallet.
- Reduced Cooling Output: So, what if the power of the air coming through your vents seems fine, but it’s not cool? This is clearly an issue, since after all you are paying for cooled air! This is most often the sign of a refrigerant leak. Your refrigerant should never run out (it’s not a burning fuel—it ideally cycles through your air conditioner during its entire lifespan). A lack of cooling output is a problem for the same reason airflow is a problem—if forces your cooling system to work too hard. Plus, refrigerant leaks will eventually shut down a system altogether if allowed to continue for too long.
- Short-Cycling: This describes the process an air conditioner goes through when it turns on and off rapidly instead of in regular cycles. Your air conditioner uses up more energy turning on and off than it does simply running. Therefore, you want yours to run for at least 15 minutes at a time—if it’s not, something is wrong and it’s time to call a pro.
- Odd Noises: Your air conditioner makes noise, there’s no escaping that. You’ll hear the humming of the fans, the clicking of the system as it cycles on and off, and even your ductwork contracting and expanding with temperature fluctuations. What you shouldn’t hear, however, is grinding, clanging, banging, or a hissing or bubbling noise. Anything that’s out of the ordinary for the sounds your air conditioner makes warrants a call to our team.
- Higher Cooling Bills: In some cases, an air conditioner that’s wearing down won’t actually show any obvious signs that it’s doing so. But, problems can be translated into excess energy being consumed, in which case you may notice your cooling bills are much higher than they were this time last year, or much higher than what your immediate neighbors are paying.