Ensuring that your air conditioning unit stays in the best condition for as long as possible requires regular maintenance and repairing the system as soon as you notice problems emerging. Neglecting to get repairs done when you notice symptoms of issues in your air conditioner quickly leads to the problem becoming extremely severe and costly to repair.
Understandably, many homeowners are unclear about what symptoms are concerning enough to require calling in a professional air conditioner repair technician. There are many possible symptoms of severe air conditioner issues, but these eight signs are the most concerning.
1. Extremely Restricted Airflow
One of the most noticeable and frustrating signs that your air conditioner needs professional repair is a severe lack of airflow. Several possible causes for a lack of strong airflow in your air conditioning unit include:
- Obstructed, damaged, or badly leaking air ducts
- Stuck or broken fan
- Malfunctioning or dead motor
All of these issues require a professional air conditioner technician to both properly diagnose and repair.
2. No Cold Air
Your air conditioning system is completely ineffective without producing cold air. In addition to being mostly useless, an air conditioner that is unable to produce cold air does nothing but waste money and energy.
Like with restricted airflow, one of the common causes of this issue is leaking or obstructed air ducts. This is easily fixed by having a professional air conditioner technician inspect the ducts and repair any issues.
Lack of cold air can also be indicative of leaking refrigerant lines. Without sufficient refrigerant in the air conditioner, the air is not cooled effectively.
The most concerning issue that could be causing warm air to blow throughout the system is a failing compressor. The compressor is the most expensive part to replace within an air conditioner. Catching problems with a compressor and repairing it as soon as possible helps prevent complete compressor failure and a need for replacement.
3. Malfunctioning Thermostat
Without a properly working thermostat, your air conditioner can’t run at maximum efficiency. If you notice that your air conditioner is either staying on constantly or only staying on for a minute or two before shutting off, this could be indicative of a thermostat issue. Consulting the readings of a second thermostat outside the system will help you better determine if the thermostat for the air conditioner is malfunctioning.
The thermostat is an incredibly sensitive and complex part of the air conditioning unit. If it is malfunctioning, you’ll have to contact a professional air conditioner technician to repair the issue.
4. Odd Odors
There are a wide variety of smells that an air conditioner may emit for many reasons, but some smells are particularly concerning. One of the most common smells that people detect in their air conditioners is a musty odor. Musty smells are usually caused by mold and mildew buildup within the air ducts. Mold is very hazardous, especially when it’s in your air ducts and constantly circulating throughout your home. A professional technician will need to take your air ducts apart and thoroughly clean them to get rid of the mold.
Burning smells are almost always caused by electrical issues. Any part of the system with wiring could be causing this smell. To prevent possible fires and accidental electrocutions, disable the air conditioner and call a professional to repair the problem immediately.
Sweet or chemical smells usually indicate a refrigerant leak. A professional will have to locate the source of the leak, fix the line, and refill the system.
5. Strange Noises
Like with odors, there are many noises that your air conditioner could make for many reasons. However, certain noises potentially indicate severe problems.
A hissing noise is typically caused by a leaking coolant line. However, this sound could also be due to the compressor beginning to experience extremely high pressure levels.
When the pressure within the compressor substantially increases, it will start to produce a screeching noise. It’s important to shut off the unit and call for a professional air conditioner technician immediately if you suspect this is happening. If the compressor is suffering from extremely high levels of pressure, the unit could explode.
A screeching noise is less dangerous but may still indicate issues, such as worn-out bearings, an old or tattered belt, or a damaged fan motor. Buzzing noises are frequently caused by electrical issues, loose parts, or a malfunctioning motor or compressor.
Clanking noises are usually a result of loose parts or an unbalanced fan. The fan issue, in particular, is concerning since the blades can cause massive damage to the housing, and the extra stress on the motor could cause it to fail.
6. Moisture Buildup Around the Unit
Puddles, drips, or other signs of moisture around an air conditioner could be a symptom of a leaking coolant line. If the moisture doesn’t look or smell like refrigerant, the moisture buildup could be coming from a clogged drain line. Leaking refrigerant will cause your air conditioner to run poorly, and a clogged drain line may cause water damage to your walls and floor. Either way, you will need to call a professional air conditioner technician to repair the issue.
7. High Levels of Humidity in the Home
Even if the airflow is great and cool air is blowing through the system, you could still suffer from the heat due to high levels of humidity. One of the most important functions of an air conditioner is to act as a dehumidifier to help keep temperatures low and prevent moisture damage and mold buildup in the home during the summer. If you notice high levels of humidity when your air conditioner is on, it could indicate dirty or frozen condenser coils, a malfunctioning thermostat, or other failing parts. A professional technician will need to diagnose and repair the issue.
8. Higher Energy Bills
This symptom may be the most frustrating to diagnose, but it is still a strong sign of efficiency and functionality issues in your air conditioner. If you’ve noticed your energy bills are higher than they were at this time last year, it could be because parts are failing, the ducts are dirty, you replaced the filters a long time ago, you overlooked other routine maintenance, or a myriad of other serious issues.
The average homeowner cannot effectively diagnose what is causing this spike in energy costs. You will have to hire a professional air conditioner technician to inspect your system, diagnose the issue, and repair the unit.
If you suspect your air conditioner is experiencing problems of any kind, you can trust our experienced professionals at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to fix the system quickly and skillfully. In addition to air conditioner repair, we also provide installation and repair services for heaters, water heaters, sump pumps, toilets, air purifiers, and much more. For additional information on any of the services we provide to customers in and around the Plainfield, Illinois area, contact us at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today.