How can you tell when your AC unit isn’t running efficiently? There are 10 things to look for. If you notice any of them, don’t put off calling an AC technician. The longer you wait, the worse it can get. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of a heatwave and no longer have a cool home.
Remember that the average AC system in Florida lasts an average of 10 years. Some units will last longer than others, and others wear out faster. It’s hard to predict exactly how long your system will last, so it’s important to know the main signs of an AC that needs maintenance, repairs, or replacement.
Humidity Levels Inside the Home Have Increased
You’re finding that the humidity levels in your home are increasing. When an AC functions properly, the humid air inside the home should be traveling outside to be conditioned and cooled before returning to the interior rooms. If a system is oversized, humidity issues may happen. An older system that’s starting to fail may also lead to this problem.
Ice Builds Up on the Components
Your outside unit keeps freezing up and building up ice. This occurs when coolant levels are too low. It can also happen if it’s cold outside, airflow is blocked, or a contact is stuck. It can also be the result of problems with the blower.
Ice build-up that’s caused a blocked airflow is usually due to blocked ducts or a dirty air filter. It’s time to change the air filter and have the ducts professionally cleaned.
It’s Making Weird Noises
Noises are one of the leading signs that an AC isn’t running efficiently. If you hear your system making a new noise, call an expert and have that noise diagnosed. If the refrigerant is leaking, it will make a hissing noise. Clicking sounds that keep appearing when the AC is turned on and off can be a sign that the relay isn’t working properly.
Bangs and thumps are signs that the motor or blower is having issues. Finally, compressors and fans that have problems may screech or whine. If possible, record the sound. It can help technicians diagnose what’s wrong if they can hear exactly what noise you heard.
If there are problems with the electricals, you might hear a buzz. Air conditioners turn on and off, which creates wear and tear on electricals like the condenser fan motor, blower motor, and compressor. You need to have those components checked during routine maintenance to ensure nothing is wearing out and that electrical connections are tight.
Some Rooms Are Warmer Than Others
With any luck, your warmer room is caused by the air vent being shut. While this would be a quick and easy solution, it’s probably the first thing you checked. If it’s not that simple, look at the air filter to see if it’s dirty and slowing airflow to the rooms farther away from the unit.
The other common issue is that there is a leak or blockage in an air duct leading to that room. If the air can’t flow properly, it will lead to bigger issues like a warm room.
Another problem will be the system being unbalanced. Air balancing requires the different rooms in a home to be at the same temperature. If the system becomes unbalanced, some rooms will end up warmer than others. What causes a system to be unbalanced? Many times is that the AC that was installed was not the right size for the home’s design and square footage. Putting in an oversized system is just as bad as an undersized system.
The AC Cycles On and Off Too Fast
If a system is oversized, it cools a room quickly, turns off, and then turns back on again to do the same. The constant on and off will wear out components quickly, leading to part failure. It also drives up your electricity bills. Systems that are overcharged with coolant, have a faulty thermostat, or with a damaged compressor also experience short cycling.
The Airflow Is Noticeably Different
A plugged filter can lead to a decline in airflow. If you’re finding the airflow in your different rooms is noticeably weaker, check the filter. If that’s not the problem, you could be having a problem with your blower, frozen evaporator coils, or blocked or leaking air ducts.
There Are Unpleasant Odors
Are you finding odd odors coming from your ducts and air vents? If so, it’s time to have the ducts inspected and cleaned. Mold and mildew can become problems over time. Not only are these issues smelly, but they also can impact your health. Allergies and asthma are just two possibilities with long-term exposure to mold and mildew.
Worse, mice and other small animals can get into your ducts. If they die while trapped in your ducts, the odor of their decomposing body is incredibly foul. You’ll need to have the ducts sanitized and cleaned. If they did any damage, you may need to have them restored or sealed.
Warm Air Is Coming Out of the Vents
If you find warm air coming from your vents, it’s a sign that the air filter is dirty and blocking airflow. This can also cause the condenser to freeze up, which makes it hard for the AC to properly cool the air before it’s circulated back to your rooms.
Check the air filter yourself. If you can’t see light through it, it’s dirty and it’s time to change it. A visual inspection is important to complete once a month. You should replace your filter a minimum of every three months. If you have pets or live in a sandy area where your home gets excessively dusty, monthly filter changes may be ideal.
Your Electricity Bills Are Skyrocketing for No Reason
Have your electricity bills increased, but you’re not seeing higher temperatures outside? If your electricity usage is going up, it’s a sign that your AC system is not working efficiently. It may be turning on and off too frequently. An older thermostat may need replacing.
Look into a programmable thermostat that allows you to raise the temperature in the home when you’re out running errands or at work. A smart thermostat is even better at helping keep bills low as you can adjust and monitor the temperature from your smartphone or computer.
You’re Finding Puddles or Leaks
On a hot day, some water leaking from the outside unit is normal. If you’re finding a lot of water leaking from your system when it’s cooler outside, it’s more concerning. Leaks can be tied to ice build-up, dirty filters, a blocked drain pipe, a cracked or broken condensate pan, low coolant, or poor installation quality.
Leaks inside the home are usually tied to condensation building up inside the duct. It’s a sign of ducts that aren’t properly sealed or insulated. If there are cracks or holes in the ductwork, the moisture can get into the insulation and leak onto your ceilings or in the walls, which is a major problem that you need to have an expert address through duct repair or restoration.
What Do You Do Now?
All Year Cooling’s technicians are experts in Florida AC systems. Our technicians will diagnose your system and let you know if it’s something you can have fixed or if it’s time for a new AC unit. If you need a new one, we’ll work with you to find the best AC system for your home’s size and layout.
We’ll work with you to help you finance that new AC system, either through our internal financing program or one of our financing partners. Ask our AC specialists about the value of a 10-year extended labor warranty. This warranty helps keep your maintenance and repair costs to a minimum for the majority of your new AC’s life. For just under $100 a year, you can have 10 years of unlimited repairs without high out-of-pocket costs.
It’s our goal to ensure you stay cool and comfortable all summer. Talk to us about a comprehensive AC system evaluation to see if your AC unit is repairable or if it’s more cost-effective to replace it.