Your air conditioning system is an essential machine, especially during the hot and sweltering months. It keeps your indoor environment comfortable and enjoyable. However, like all mechanical systems, AC units can encounter problems from time to time. Knowing when to call in the professionals can save you from discomfort and prevent further damage. Here are five signs you should recognize promptly to avoid costly breakdowns.
1. Insufficient Cooling
One of the most obvious signs that it is time to contact an AC repair company is when your system no longer provides sufficient cooling. If your home remains uncomfortably warm despite your AC running continuously, it may indicate a problem with the system’s cooling capacity.
- Refrigerant Leak: Low refrigerant levels due to a leak can reduce the AC’s cooling capacity, making it struggle to cool your home effectively.
- Clogged Air Filter: A dirty or clogged air filter restricts airflow, reducing the system’s ability to cool the air efficiently.
- Faulty Compressor: A malfunctioning compressor can cause inadequate cooling as it’s responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant.
An HVAC technician can diagnose the problem and restore your AC’s cooling efficiency. They will locate and repair the leak, followed by recharging the system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant. They will replace or clean the air filter to ensure proper airflow. If the compressor is faulty, the technician will diagnose the issue and either repair or replace it as needed.
2. Strange Noises
Unusual sounds coming from your AC unit should never be ignored. Hissing, banging, squealing, or grinding noises can indicate various problems within the system.
- Loose or Damaged Components: Unusual noises can be caused by loose or damaged parts, such as fan blades, motors, or belts.
- Refrigerant Leak: Hissing sounds often indicate a refrigerant leak, which can lead to system inefficiency.
- Lack of Lubrication: Squealing or grinding noises may result from insufficient lubrication of moving parts, leading to increased friction.
Ignoring these sounds can result in further damage and costly repairs. It’s best to call an AC repair professional as soon as you notice any unusual noises to prevent the issue from worsening.
The repair technician will inspect the AC unit, tighten any loose parts, and replace damaged components. To address the hissing sound from a refrigerant leak, they will identify and fix the leak, then recharge the system. If lubrication is the issue, the technician will apply the necessary lubricant to moving parts.
3. Frequent Cycling
Frequent on-and-off cycling of an AC system, known as short cycling, can be an issue. Short cycling reduces the unit’s efficiency and can lead to increased wear and tear.
- Incorrect Thermostat Settings: Improperly configured thermostat settings can cause the AC to cycle on and off too frequently.
- Low Refrigerant: Low refrigerant levels can make the system shut down prematurely to prevent damage.
- Oversized AC: An oversized AC unit may cool the space too quickly, causing frequent cycling.
An AC technician can identify the root cause and make the necessary adjustments to ensure your system operates smoothly. The technician will correctly configure the thermostat settings and recalibrate or replace the thermostat if necessary. If low refrigerant is the cause, they will repair the leak and recharge the system to the correct level. If you have an oversized AC unit, the technician may recommend replacing it with a properly sized unit.
4. High Energy Bills
A sudden spike in your energy bills without a corresponding increase in cooling needs could indicate that your AC system is operating inefficiently.
- Dirty Air Filters: Clogged filters force the AC to work harder to maintain airflow, increasing energy consumption.
- Ductwork Leaks: Leaky ducts can result in cooled air escaping before reaching the rooms, causing the AC to run longer.
- Aging Equipment: Older AC units tend to be less efficient, requiring more energy to cool the same space.
An AC repair company can help you identify and address these efficiency issues, ultimately reducing your energy costs.
The HVAC contractor will replace or clean dirty air filters to restore proper airflow. They will inspect the ductwork, seal any leaks, and ensure that air is distributed efficiently. For aging AC units, they may recommend regular maintenance, upgrades, or replacement with a more energy-efficient model.
5. Foul Odors
If you notice unpleasant odors when your AC is running, it is a clear signal that something is amiss. These issues should be addressed promptly to ensure the safety and comfort of your home.
- Mold or Mildew: Musty odors may be due to mold or mildew growth in the AC’s evaporator coil or ductwork, impacting air quality.
- Burnt Electrical Components: A burning smell could indicate overheating electrical components, like wires or the motor, which can also be a safety concern.
- Clogged Drain Line: Over time, the drain line in your AC system can become clogged with debris, mold, or algae. This blockage can lead to stagnant water and foul odors.
An experienced HVAC contractor will correctly diagnose the issue and rectify it before you require an AC replacement.
An AC technician can clean the drain line to remove the clog and prevent future blockages. Installing a condensate drain pan treatment can help inhibit algae and mold growth. Mold or mildew odors are usually cleared by cleaning and disinfecting the evaporator coil and ductwork. This also helps improve indoor air quality. If there are burnt electrical components, the professional will identify and replace the damaged parts, ensuring the safety of the AC system.
In addition to these actions, experienced AC repair professionals will perform routine maintenance tasks like cleaning coils, checking electrical connections, and verifying refrigerant levels to prevent future issues. Regular professional maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your AC system and keep it operating efficiently.
Reliable AC Repair from Top-rated HVAC Contractors in Las Vegas
The trained and experienced technicians at Active Plumbing and Air Conditioning are equipped to diagnose any issue with your HVAC unit and fix it before it causes any more discomfort or increases your costs. Our certified air conditioning repair professionals are skilled, dedicated, and thorough. Schedule a visit today by giving us a call at 702-857-7132 or complete this online contact form.