The dog days of summer will be upon us before we know it, with temperatures rising into the 90s and stifling humidity. With the possibility of the stay-at-home order still being in place, it’s more important than ever that your air conditioning unit is up to the task of keeping your family cool. But what if your system breaks down unexpectedly, leaving you sweating and uncomfortable in your home and facing a big repair bill?
Unfortunately, even if you’re diligent about yearly air conditioner tune-ups, your central air unit won’t last forever. While ACs are prone to breakdowns with little or no notice, there are some signs to watch out for that could indicate your unit is on its last leg.
Here are six signs that your AC might be about to stop working, possibly for good:
1. Your air conditioner is old.
According to Energy.gov, most central AC units last about 20 years with proper maintenance. Failure to schedule routine maintenance for your system will result in a much shorter lifespan. That said, an older system isn’t as efficient as a modern one, and our expert technicians recommend considering replacing an AC unit that’s between 12 and 15 years old.
If an expensive repair is required and you don’t have a home warranty, it’s probably more cost-effective to replace that old unit rather than repair it. If your air conditioner is ten years old or older, you can save 20% to 40% on your cooling costs with a new energy-efficient model, according to Energy.gov. If you have questions about whether or not to replace your unit, give us a call to discuss your options.
2. Your AC is making odd noises or producing a foul smell.
Unusual or loud noises are warning signs that your AC unit has likely reached the end of its service lifespan. AC units shouldn’t make grinding, squeaking, or screeching sounds.
Some noise causes could be issues with the motor or debris caught in the fan. Schedule a maintenance call to determine whether it’s an easy repair or it’s time for replacement.
Likewise, air conditioners aren’t supposed to have a noticeable smell, so if you notice a burning or smoking odor, have one of our expert technicians come out right and assess the problem.
3. Your system breaks down frequently.
If we’re on your speed dial, you almost certainly need a new air conditioning system. Don’t keep pouring money into repairs – consider replacing it. AC repairs can really add up. In the long run, you’ll save money by not having to make expensive repairs, and you’ll save on your monthly energy bills by upgrading to an energy-efficient unit.
4. Your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home adequately.
Over time, your home’s central air system becomes less efficient and struggles to keep up with demand. Perhaps the most common warning sign is when the unit takes too long – several minutes or more – for cool air to be felt coming through your vents. This is often a sign that the compressor is about to fail. It could also signal a clog or leak in your ductwork, causing the air to come out inefficiently. Either way, you should schedule an inspection right away.
Another sign that your system may need to be replaced is if some rooms in your home are colder or hotter than others.
5. You’re struggling to pay those high monthly energy bills.
If your energy bills have skyrocketed recently, your system is probably struggling as much as your budget. It’s time to upgrade equipment or replace your system entirely.
6. You see moisture on your unit or water pooling under or near it.
Excess water or moisture around your AC unit should be addressed immediately. One common cause for this is a refrigerant leak, which should be immediately fixed by a technician. Refrigerant replacement isn’t a cheap proposition, though, and if your old system uses the recently-banned R-22 freon, repairing it may not be an option.
Contact us for all of your HVAC system needs!
If you’re experiencing issues with your AC unit or your HVAC system in general, contact our helpful professionals today! Our expert technicians will diagnose your air conditioner and provide you with sound and trustworthy advice on your best course of action. Whether it’s time for a new air conditioning system or just a repair, our friendly staff has you covered. That’s how neighbors should treat neighbors!™