Imagine finding out in the middle of summer that your air conditioner no longer works. It’s scorching hot outside and the only thing you have to cool you off is a few fans. Believe it or not, this happens to a lot of people. They utilize the air conditioner without maintaining it and end up having to foot the bill for repairs when it’s no longer functioning properly. For some reason, the air conditioner seems to be one of the most overlooked appliances in the home.
Out of sight out of mind is likely the reason that the air conditioning systems in the home are overlooked. Unlike other appliances that are used on a daily basis (i.e. washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator), the AC is used about 2-3 months out of the year. When the weather no longer permits the use of the AC you simply turn it off and wait until next year.
The only problem is… if you’ve been using your AC for years without properly caring for it, your system could lack efficiency and could be on the brink of breaking down. So how do you know when this has happened? Here are a few signs that you’re due for maintenance and repairs or you need to schedule a new air conditioning installation.
- You haven’t had your AC serviced in several years – having your AC serviced at least once every year or two is recommended to ensure there are no impending issues that need to be resolved.
2. Your air conditioner is not blowing cool air – If you turn your AC on full blast and still can’t seem to get the room cool, this could be an issue with the compressor or the Freon levels which need to be checked by an HVAC professional.
3. The air is not flowing efficiently – Are there rooms in your home that are cooler than others? This could signify poor air flow which could be the onset of several problems including duct issues, compressor trouble, and/or clogged vents.
4. Your system makes strange sounds – do you notice squeaking or grinding sounds when your AC is on? If so, this means that there is a mechanical issue inside of the unit that needs to be addressed. It could be the motor needs to be replaced, however, it could also signify that metal parts need more lubrication.
5. You smell a strange odor – The air coming from your AC should be odorless. If you start to smell something, you need to contact a HVAC professional right away. Foul pungent smells could mean that the insulation around the wiring has burned out. Musty, mildew smells means that your air conditioner and/or ducts have mold which needs to be removed.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Air Conditioner
There are instances in which its time to throw in the towel and invest in a new air conditioning system. Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Your system is more than 10 years old – if you’ve had your AC system for more than 10-15 years; it is time to invest in a new one. Just like cars, as air conditioners age, they become less efficient and more costly to maintain.
2. Your system is inefficient – Efficiency is important for conserving energy and saving money. If your AC has a low seasonal energy efficient ratio (SEER), it means it’s costing you a lot to maintain it. As explained by Energy.gov, newly manufactured AC must have a SEER rating of 13. Anything less than this would prove to be less efficient and costly to the owner.
3. Repairs are expensive – When you receive a quote for a repair, compare that to the cost of having a new air conditioner installed to determine which the better choice is.
4. Frequent repairs – another telltale sign that you need to replace your air conditioner is if it’s constantly breaking down. Even if the maintenance and repairs are inexpensive, several small repairs can add up to a lot of cash.
5. Your energy bill is high – during the summer does it seem like your energy bill is through the roof? If so, it could be your air conditioning system. An air conditioner that is not well kept or is not efficient uses a great amount of energy to operate causing your bill to skyrocket.
With all the responsibilities a homeowner has it can be fairly easy to overlook the air conditioner. However, unless you want to find yourself cooling your home down with fans in 100 degree weather, it is important to properly maintain your system. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your AC serviced or you’ve noticed any of the above mentioned signs for repairs, maintenance, and replacements, contact a HVAC professional before it’s too late.
Article Submitted By Community Writer