Air conditioners are much more prone to developing problems during the summer, when demand on them is highest. Many people schedule preventive maintenance for their air conditioning systems during the summer season, which lowers the odds of problems developing significantly. However, that cannot guarantee that the system will make it through the summer without developing issues. Whether you have your air conditioner checked before summer or not, you should keep an eye out for warning signs that your air conditioner is in trouble. Let’s go over some of those signs below.
If your air conditioner isn’t providing as much output as it should be, there could be a number of different reasons why. Not blowing as much air as it normally does could mean that the air conditioner has a clogged air filter. If the air filter isn’t changed every few months or so while the system is being used heavily, it will become clogged and block the majority of the air from entering the system. Less air entering the air conditioner means less for the system to circulate.
If the air conditioner is blowing air normally, but the air is not as cool as it should be, then you might have a refrigerant leak. The more refrigerant leaks out of the system, the lower it’s cooling ability will drop. Eventually, the refrigerant level will drop low enough that the system will break down entirely. Make sure that you call for repairs before that happens.
If your air conditioner is turning itself on and off every few minutes instead of completing a full cooling cycle, that’s called short cycling. Short cycling is problematic for a number of reasons. First, it prevents the air conditioner from cooling as well as it should be. Second, it accelerates the amount of wear and tear the air conditioner accumulates through normal use. The longer the system short cycles, the more likely it will be to develop a problem and break down. Short cycling can also shorten the lifespan of the system by a number of years, so make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice the system doing it.
If you have had your air conditioner for a while, you probably know what it’s supposed to sound like when it’s operating. If your air conditioner starts to make sounds that it doesn’t normally make, that’s a pretty good sign that it’s in some kind of trouble. What kind of trouble it’s experiencing, and how severe that trouble is, depends on the noise. Grinding noises, for example, often mean that the air handler motor is wearing out. Hissing and gurgling noises mean that you might have a leak in your refrigerant line. No matter what odd noises you may hear coming from your air conditioner, it’s best to get it checked out by a professional as soon as possible. You don’t want to ignore a potentially serious problem if you can help it.