When your air conditioner needs repairs or replacements, it will tell you; you just have to learn the signs! Here are six signs that will let you know when it's time to call a professional to look at your air conditioning unit:
1. Your Air Conditioner Can't Cool Your Home
Let’s start out with the most obvious sign that your air conditioning unit is in need of some repairs… it’s not cooling your home! When you turn your air on and you don’t feel the air blowing out of your registers or your ducts don’t become cooler as the day goes on, it’s probably a sign that your air conditioner unit needs some professional repairs. If the temperature in your home isn’t cooling down at a reasonable time span or the air conditioner won’t turn on, you might have a malfunctioning air conditioner. You could have a leak in your Freon line, your compressor may be malfunctioning, the electrical connections may have a short… whatever the reason, you should call an air conditioner repair company (or your home warranty company) right away!
(You may first want to check your air conditioning unit’s filter to see if that needs to be cleaned or replaced, as that’s the easiest and cheapest fix for an air conditioning unit that won’t turn on.)
If you turn your air conditioning unit on but there’s little to no airflow, sign your air conditioning unit needs to be looked at by a professional. This lack of airflow could be caused by a leak in your ductwork, a clog in the ducts, or a failed blower motor.
2. There is Noise Coming From Your Air Conditioner
If you are hearing odd noises coming from your air conditioner, including squealing or grinding, your air conditioner might need repairs, even if everything else is working properly. Your air conditioner may need something cleaned or tightened that has come loose and is making the unusual noise. Regardless, this is a good warning sign of a failing air conditioner and, if caught early, can save you a lot of money in the long run without having to pay for significant repairs to the unit.
3. There are Smells Coming From Your Air Conditioner
Another unusual sign of air conditioner failure isn’t one you can see or hear, but one you smell. If the air from your air conditioner is coming out musty, you may have mold in your ductwork, a clogged condensate drain, or dirty cooling coils. If your home is covered with a home warranty plan from Landmark, you can get an air conditioning tune-up in the springtime to combat some of these problems. Not only will a HVAC technician clean the condenser coils and check the condensation lines for you, they’ll clean the unit’s electrical connections, and check the refrigerant levels, the thermostat, and the motors in the unit.
4. A Leaking or Frozen Air Conditioning Unit
If you notice leaking, puddling, or freezing on your air conditioning unit, you most likely have a condensation line blockage. This line removes condensation that’s built up through the process of cooling your home. When it’s blocked or leaking, the excess condensation can freeze onto the coils, leak out, or puddle onto the ground. There’s also a chance of this being a sign of a Freon leak, which can be extremely dangerous for humans and pets. If you notice excess water in any form around your air conditioning unit, give your home warranty company a call immediately. If you catch this problem before it becomes a bigger one, you could save a lot of money.
5. High Energy Bills
Are you running your air conditioner the same amount every day, but seeing huge increases in what you’re paying? This can be a warning sign of something going wrong with your air conditioning unit. Usually, this means your air conditioner isn’t running efficiently and is compensating when trying to cool your home. That can translate to higher than normal energy bills. This is a sign that your air conditioner is failing, either from the initial problem that is causing the inefficiency or from burning out the mechanical components from running at such a high level for so long. Make sure to call an air conditioner repair company or your home warranty company to get your air conditioner repaired.
6. The Age of Your Air Conditioning Unit
Finally, take a look at the age of your air conditioning unit. AC units can last an average of 15-20 years. If your air conditioner is nearing that age, it could just be wearing out due to normal wear and tear. Luckily, if you have a home warranty and your air conditioner fails from old age, and normal wear and tear, you can have it replaced for $60-$100 (the cost of a service call fee)! Normally, it costs between $3,3733-$7,160 to get an air conditioner replaced.
For more information about how a home warranty can protect your air conditioner unit when it starts showing signs of needing repair, take a look at what our home warranty plans cover here. If you need more tips for your air conditioning and furnace, take a look at Landmark’s articles on your HVAC unit here.