California homeowners are heavily dependent on the air conditioners, especially as the summer sun starts to really sizzle. There’s no denying the importance of your air conditioner, which is why it’s so important that it remains in good working order all throughout the year, even during times when you’re not using it.
But like almost everything else in the home, air conditioners don’t last forever. They’ll even break down from time to time before they take their final bow. The key is to recognize any signs of trouble so you can deal with them right away and ensure your air conditioner is working well when you need it most.
Here are some tell-tale signs that it might be time for repairs or even a total replacement.
1. It’s Blowing Out Warm Air
The whole point of having an air conditioner is to cool the air inside your home. As such, it makes sense that the air coming out of your A/C is cold. But if you notice that your unit is blowing out warm air, there’s definitely a problem.
There could be any number of reasons for the lack of cool air being blown. Maybe the system’s compressor has broken down, or perhaps the Freon levels are too low. If that’s the case, the unit might be beyond repair and will likely need to be replaced altogether.
2. Air Flow is Weak
Even if there is cool air being blown out, there could be an issue of weak air flow. Even if your air conditioner is on full blast, you might only feel a tiny amount of cool air coming out of your vents, which isn’t enough to adequately cool the air in the home.
In this case, the compressor could be faltering, or there could be a major issue with the ductwork. Either way, the professionals will need to be called in to assess why you’re noticing very weak flow of cool air in your home.
3. Water is Pooling at the Bottom of the Unit
If you notice any moisture at the bottom of the unit, that’s a problem. It could be that the drain tube that’s responsible for eliminating condensation is either blocked or broken. In this case, a simple repair can fix the problem and get your A/C unit back up and running.
However, the issue could be more serious. It’s possible that the refrigerant is leaking, in which case the air conditioner will have to be fixed or replaced right away because this can pose a health hazard. At the very least, such leakage can start to cause issues with mold growth, which is another problem itself.
4. The Unit is Making Weird Noises
It’s quite normal for air conditioners to make a certain amount of noise. However, if you hear any strange noises coming from your unit, there might be an issue that should be addressed. Any grinding or squealing noises aren’t normal and are likely caused by a problem inside the unit.
It could be caused by the belt slipping out, a metal piece that needs some lubrication, or broken-down bearings. Regardless, these noises warrant a call to the HVAC experts.
5. Strange Odors Are Being Emitted
Not only can faulty air conditioners make strange noises, they can also let out odd smells. There’s no reason for your A/C to smell bad unless there’s something wrong. Many times, these foul odors are the result of wire insulation burning out or mold developing inside the unit or ducts. Either problem is a big one and requires the attention of a professional immediately.
6. The Unit is Old
Good-quality air conditioners should last at least 10 years, but they’re not meant to last forever. If your air conditioner has been around for at least a decade, it might be time to replace it if it’s starting to show signs of wear and tear and is causing problems. If you’re finding yourself calling the HVAC professionals frequently, you should seriously consider replacing your unit.
7. Your Utility Bill is Through the Roof
Whether your air conditioner is old or just faulty, it could be working inefficiently and using far more energy than it should have to in order to keep the air in your home cool. As a result, you could see utility bills that are much higher than the average. In this case, you should think about replacing your unit with a newer, more energy-efficient model.
The Bottom Line
Your air conditioner is obviously a crucial component to the overall comfort level of your home. As such, it’s in your best interests to make sure that it’s always in proper working condition by keeping an eye on it and performing regular maintenance checks. Doing so will help you identify any issues that need to be dealt with right away before they become major problems.