Like any machine, an air conditioner doesn’t function perfectly forever. Environmental factors, along with age and frequency of use, can affect any AC system. Unfortunately, most people only pay attention to their cooling systems once they stop working. And by then, the damage may be done and the repairs bills expensive.
Rather than waiting for your air conditioner to kick the bucket, you should learn to spot the signs of a sick or ailing system. By responding to the early signs, you can get your AC the service and maintenance it needs and avoid the hefty repair and replacement bills.
So, we have 9 signs that your air conditioning system may need a little love.
- No cool air
An air conditioner’s primary function is to keep things cool. If your AC is failing to produce cool air then something is definitely wrong. It could be a damaged compressor or low refrigerant levels. Depending on the age of your air conditioner, repairs may be out of the question.
- Inconsistent temperature
If your air conditioner is struggling to put out a consistent temperature, then you’ve got problems. But all is not lost. If the system is still putting out cold air, just not on a consistent basis, then the system can usually be brought back to life.
- Limited airflow
Inconsistent temperature can be a symptom of limited airflow. Dust and dirt can clog filters and ducts, preventing the air from circulating properly. Cleaning the ducts, filters and vents could be enough to solve this problem. However, limited airflow can also mean that the compressor isn’t working properly. And this could mean more major repairs.
- Bad smells
A properly functioning air conditioner shouldn’t produce a smell either from the unit or in the air. So, if there are strange smells coming from your AC system, you should get the unit looked at ASAP. A burnt smell could indicate an electrical problem. A musty smell, however, could indicate problems with the filters and possible the presence of mould.
- Strange noises
Most people are pretty used to the noises their AC system makes. Given that the normal operating sound should be pretty consistent, if you hear any noises out of the ordinary, it could be worth getting your system looked at.
Noises could be knocking or clicking, whining or grinding. Some typical causes are improperly functioning fans, loose components or a part that has become clogged with dirt.
If the noise sounds like grinding metal, you should turn the unit off immediately and contact an air conditioner technician.
- Unit overheating
As with any machinery, an air conditioner will heat up when in use. However, these systems are designed to manage the build-up of heat. So if your system is putting our excessive heat or overheating to the point where it’s shutting down, then you have a problem.
Overheating can indicate a dirty coil, broken fan or refrigerant leak. In this situation, it’s important to call an air conditioning repair service as soon as possible. You should always refrain from using an overheating system to avoid further damage.
Depending on your air conditioner model and set-up, some water around the unit is normal. This is a result of the process that cools the air. However, an unusual amount of water can mean a tube is blocked.
If you’re noticing refrigerant leaks, however, that is a cause for alarm. Always keep people and animals away from any spilled refrigerant and call a professional immediately.
An air conditioner should minimise humidity rather than increase it. If your air conditioner is creating moisture inside your house, like damp patches on the wall, repairs may be required or even a total replacement of the unit.
- Energy bills growing
An air conditioner will naturally increase your home’s total power consumption. However, your power bills should be fairly consistent month to month, provided you’re using the system about the same amount of time.
If you’re starting to notice your power bills increasing, it could be that your AC system is no longer running at peak efficiency. This is a definite sign that your air conditioner needs some attention.
A home energy assessment can help you find out if your air conditioner is causing the spike. This can help you make an informed decision about repairing or replacing your air conditioner.
Careful monitoring of your air conditioner for these signs can save you money when it comes to repairs. Regular air conditioning maintenance is also advised. Choice.com.au has some great tips on how you can maintain your air conditioner to get the most out of it.