If you’ve grown up in homes with central air conditioning, then it’s easy to take air conditioners for granted. Until, that is, you’re the one paying the electric bill (and mortgage, and water bills, and student loans, and on and on). When you aren’t careful, your AC can break down completely, leaving you to sweat over all those bills without the luxury of a room temperature home.
During the summer months, all that heat and humidity can put a serious strain on our AC systems, which can lead to overuse and malfunctions. While adding a bill from your local air conditioning repair company might not sound very appealing, putting off HVAC problems always makes them worse.
Simple fixes now can save you time, money, and hassle later. So unless you’re prepared to live without air conditioning or pay for a replacement unit, you need to know the warning signs of a busted AC. Be on the lookout for these signs that it’s time to call an air conditioning repair company — before it’s too late.
- There’s a weird smell coming from your unit or ducts.
Blasts of musty-smelling air from your AC ducts are a sure sign of mold. A metallic burning smell from your unit could indicate burnt out insulation or wiring. Either way, get the problem addressed right away for your safety and health.
- You see moisture inside your ducts.
Moisture in your ducts means humidity leaking into your home. This could be caused by broken parts, leaky ductwork, or an improperly functioning unit. Have an air conditioning service technician scope out the issue and determine how to fix it fast.
- You’re not getting any cold air.
This is the most obvious sign that it’s time to call in the local air conditioning repair company, but it’s not the only one. At the same time, a system’s failure to cool or even turn on doesn’t mean that it’s bitten the dust for good. Many homes with central air could benefit from routine maintenance, but only 42% of users get the annual recommended check-up. Spotting trouble early can prevent total breakdowns. And remember: change the filterbefore you call air conditioning contractors.
- Your unit is making more noise than usual.
Abnormally loud buzzing noises or high-pitched screeching coming from your AC could indicate loose connectors in the system or foreign objects interfering with the fan. Call in an HVAC company before the damage gets any worse.
- Your energy bills suddenly spiked.
Air conditioning can use up a lot of energy, but a sudden and dramatic spike in your bills could indicate that the system isn’t working the way it should and might be eating up more electricity in the process. Otherwise, it may simply be time for an upgrade: high-efficiency air conditioners can reduce energy use by 20% to 50%, lowering your bills along with it.
When in doubt, have an air conditioning repair company take a look at your AC system, or even better, schedule a routine inspection every fall and spring. A little bit of regular maintenance often goes a long way.Ask Before You Hire: 5 Questions for an Air Conditioning Repair Service » « Common Air Conditioning Myths, Debunked