With the summer months upon us, we are all giving a big thanks to our air conditioners. Thanks to our AC systems, summer can be an enjoyable time rather than a hot, sticky mess. But part of making sure your summer is cool and comfortable is making sure your AC system is running as efficiently as possible.
Chances are, your AC system could use a tune-up. Here’s how you can know for sure.
Not Properly Cooling
If you notice your AC system blowing warm air or warmer air than it should be blowing, that’s a classic sign your system needs you. Your first step is to check the air filter. It’s one of the most important components of your AC system and can seriously affect the air flow. If the air flow is reduced, it can sometimes feel like it’s warmer than it should be. If you find your filter full of dust and debris, it’s time to either clean it or replace it. You can do this fairly easily as the homeowner, but you can also call in the professionals to handle the dirty work.
If your air filter looks fine, check the thermostat. While it seems like a really obvious thing, making sure your thermostat is actually on and set to AC is often the solution. Whether someone in your house changed the settings or the system was accidentally turned off, you can find an easy fix to your cooling problem by simply double-checking the thermostat.
If neither the air filter nor the thermostat are the issue, it could mean something more serious. One cause might be the coils. If they become dirty, they can’t cool the air as efficiently. It could also indicate that your refrigerant is low, meaning you’ll need a refrigerant discharge. And finally, it could be an electrical problem, like a trip or a fuse. These more serious issues should always be handled by a professional.
Related to your airflow not feeling as cool as it should be is the amount of airflow. If you notice you’re barely getting a trickle of air when your thermostat is set to full blast, you have a problem. It could indicate an issue with your air ducts, like a leak where air is escaping. In this case, you might need a duct replacement, at least a partial one.
Poor airflow is another indicator that you should check your air filters. Over time as they clean the air, they will become clogged with dust and debris. The dirtier your air filter, the less capable of pushing out air your system is. Additionally, this can lead to more expensive repairs and can actually pose a health risk to you and your family. The collection of dust and debris can contribute to allergies and respiratory problems for those living in your home. Make sure to check those air filters regularly to avoid the risks.
Depending on the age of your AC system, you might be used to the occasional sounds when it starts up. But when you hear a new sound, you should take note. Hissing, whistling, buzzing, and banging are all signs something serious could be wrong with your AC system.
Buzzing tends to indicate an airflow issue, like an obstruction. Even a partial obstruction can result in a buzzing sound. Humming or raspy sounds can be a sign that one or more of your blades are damaged and not moving as quickly as they should. However, this can also mean your motor is dying. Any strange noise should be investigated by an AC professional.
Poor Humidity Control
Not only does summer get hot, but it can also get sticky, too. As the humidity rises, you’ll become more and more uncomfortable. Under usual circumstances, your AC system should maintain a comfortable level of humidity in your home. If it isn’t, it could mean you have low refrigerant levels. This will require professional maintenance. Another possibility is that the evaporator coil may not be getting cold enough. This is another case when a professional should diagnose your AC system.
Strange noises aside, if your machine is simply operating louder than normal, it’s cause for attention. Typically, a louder-than-normal system operation comes from loose screws, motor malfunctions, debris build-up, and bent blades.
The screws which hold your system in place can sometimes come loose. As they do, they will make noise, contributing to the sound pollution from your AC system. Getting them fixed makes sure your AC system is in good working order and safe to use.
A home’s AC system is unique in that it has multiple motors, compared to a car’s AC system which only has one. Different sounds your AC system makes indicate different motors are having problems. For example, grinding can often mean your fan motor is struggling. This is another reason to have a professional diagnose your system when you hear it operating loudly.
Another common cause for noisy AC systems is debris. If you notice your AC system unit getting buried in debris, turn it off and clean in and around the area. Make sure to trim any of the surrounding foliage and remove any twigs and branches that you notice. Sometimes this can fix the issue without a professional having to come out and take a look.
When it comes to smell in your AC system, there are a variety of things that can cause them. Things like:
● Wet filters
● Clogs in the condensate drain line
● Build up of fungus or mold
● Wire insulation needs replacement
● Trapped and decaying animals
To correctly identify and rid your home of the smell, have a professional assess your system.
The beauty of an AC system is that it should keep your entire house cool and comfortable. But when it’s not working properly, you might notice certain areas or rooms are less cool than others. Begin fixing the problem by ensuring that all windows and doors are sealed properly. If they aren’t, cool air can leak out. If that doesn’t fix the issue, a professional should be called in to diagnose your system.
Typically when your AC system is leaking water, it comes from a clogged drain pipe or a leak in the refrigerant. Because the refrigerant is responsible for cooling the air your system pushes out, it can begin to form condensation. However, that condensation shouldn’t pool up. If you notice a more significant amount of water, you likely have a leak and your refrigerant isn’t living up to its full potential. These leaks can have serious consequences for your AC system and your home. They should be dealt with quickly.
If you have experienced any of these signs or just want to have a professional come inspect your system, give us a call at American Air Conditioning & Heating & Heating. Our teams are constantly being trained on the newest systems and best practices. Check out our $129 Precision AC Tune-Up to learn more.