When your air conditioner begins to act strange, it is a potential sign you have delayed your routine maintenance checks. Maintenance is not an optional service but a mandatory service to enhance the functionality of your AC and give it a longer lifespan.
Skipping routine maintenance can make your AC ineffective and also cost your budget and comfort. You do not have to wait for your AC to show signs that it requires maintenance to schedule an appointment. HVAC experts recommend you have your AC tuned up annually before the onset of summer.
Below are seven signs that your AC is overdue for maintenance.
Spike in energy bill
An AC that is overdue for maintenance cannot cool your home with utmost efficiency. As a result, your AC ends up overworking to reach the desired temperature on your thermostat. As your system works round the clock to keep up with the expected performance, it consumes more energy which causes your energy utility bill to rise.
If you notice that your AC has a strange smell, this is a potential sign that it needs maintenance. There are various reasons why your AC could have an unpleasant odor. A slight burning smell is normal when you use your AC for the first time. However, if the smell persists, then there is a serious problem that should be addressed before it worsens.
If the odor is musty-like, your AC is not draining well, which may cause mold and mildew to grow in your ductwork. Sometimes a strange smell could imply that your systems wire insulation needs to be replaced or the bearings in your AC could be overheating due to lack of lubrication. Also, you could have a pungent smell due to decaying animal matter. Regular maintenance ensures your AC is clean and free from strange odors.
When your AC is running, you should not hear any squealing, rattling, squeaking, or grinding noises. However, if you notice unusual noise from the unit, it could be a sign that your maintenance is overdue. Common causes of these abnormal noises could be loose or broken components, a bad motor, defective relays, loose electrical connections, or leaking refrigerant.
Uneven cooling is a common AC problem. There are many possible causes why some areas in your home may feel warmer than others when the air conditioner shuts off. Accumulation of dirt and debris may result in clogged air ducts. Clogged air ducts negatively affect the performance of your air conditioner. Your AC may not distribute cool air throughout your living space due to reduced airflow, which results in uneven cooling.
Besides that, uneven cooling can occur due to a faulty thermostat that is not registering accurate temperature. A faulty thermostat may cause the AC to stay on too long, making some rooms too cold, or it can cause your AC to shut off early before even distribution of cool air. It is also possible that your AC may experience uneven cooling because of leaks in the duct, which allow cool air to escape.
Worsening air quality
Regular maintenance can help eliminate potential AC problems, including minimizing the introduction and re-circulation of pollutants that negatively impact your indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality affects your overall comfort; the dirty or smelly air makes your home less habitable. Besides, airborne pollutants can make you ill.
Common causes for worsening air quality are duct leaks and dirty ducts. An AC unit that goes without maintenance cannot effectively filter air as it should. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and expels pollutants such as dust, dirt, mold, and other allergens into your living space. Dirty ducts explain why you may have dust on your shelves often.
High humidity makes your home feel warmer than usual. It is the job of your AC to remove humidity inside your home. However, if you notice that your home has high humidity levels despite the AC being on; it could be a sign that your maintenance is overdue. In such cases, the refrigerant of your AC is low, or the evaporator coil may not have the required cold temperature to remove humidity effectively.
Leakage can occur due to the accumulation of dirt and debris, which blocks the drainage pipe of your AC. As a result, collected condensate cannot flow out through the drainage system. It causes an overflow which causes your AC to leak. If you notice any leaks in your unit, they should be addressed as soon as possible as they can cause harm to your air conditioner and your home. Timely maintenance can prevent these leaks.
As a homeowner, ensure you get your system checked by an expert to avoid compromising the performance of your air conditioner. Contact Korrect Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. if you notice any of these signs described above.