“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, goes the old saying. During hot weather, that ounce of prevention can be worth a ton of comfort. Your air conditioner is one of those things that you don’t realize how important it is until you no longer have it.
But how do you know that your air conditioner needs help? Do you wait until it’s no longer blowing cold air? By then it’s usually too late. To help keep you and your family cool and comfortable, check out these 10 signs that your air conditioner is breaking down:
1. AC Blows More Hot Air Than a Politician
Air conditioners are supposed to blow cool air. At most, it should only take a second or two for you to feel the coolness from the vents. At best, the refrigerant just may need to be replaced. At worst, the whole unit, depending on its age and condition, may have to go.
2. Funny Smells Coming From Air Conditioner
You shouldn’t smell anything coming from your air conditioner. If you detect musty odors or an electrical smell, it could be a sign of trouble.
3. Weakening Air Flow
The air should come out consistently. If it feels like it’s not pumping as hard, it could probably use a bit of minor servicing, such as cleaning or replacing the filter.
4. Higher Energy Bill
Watch for spikes in your utility bill. Yes, you might be using a few more appliances more frequently (like that smoothie maker), but if you haven’t been, your air conditioner may be to blame. Since heating and cooling costs account for about half of your home’s electrical bill, pay attention.
5. Noisy AC Unit
A slight sound from the motor is normal in some units while others are “whisper quiet”. If the motor is getting louder or making sounds that it normally doesn’t make, it’s definitely time to have someone look at it.
6. Frequent Cycling
If your AC is turning on and off far more frequently than usual (assuming it’s the correct size for your space), it’s time to have it checked.
Unless you have a “swamp cooler”, the air coming out shouldn’t be damp. If it feels damp or if the collection tray is collecting too much water, it’s time for service.
8. Repeatedly Calling for Repairs
An increase in the number of service calls is a good indication that your unit is about to “give up the ghost”. Sure, we don’t mind the extra income from ac repairs, but we’d rather have happy, comfortable customers.
9. Outdated Unit
If your AC unit is over ten years old, expect more frequent service calls.
10. Age of Air Conditioner
Not the same as being “outdated”, an air conditioner is expected to last 10 to 15 years before it needs total replacing. Even with the best of technology, parts will wear and tear simply from use.
So there you have it. Now you know what to look for. The best way to keep yourself comfortable during the coming hotter weather is to look for these signs before it’s too late, or just have a routine servicing and checkup done.