It’s the hottest day of summer and your air conditioning unit isn’t doing its job. What should you do? We’ll get you started with some AC repair troubleshooting, and you can decide whether you need to call in an AC professional.
It might just be something simple to fix. But then again…
Not only are AC units complicated, but they also use some rather scary chemicals. If the fix you’re considering feels too complicated or you’re worried about refrigerant poisoning, call an HVAC technician just in case.
Top Signs it’s Time for Professional Maintenance
Really, all but the most minor aspects of air conditioning repair should be left to an HVAC professional. We think you’ll understand why after reading this.
This one seems like a pretty obvious sign that something is wrong with the AC. But it’s hard to say what without closer inspection—probably by an HVAC technician.
It could be as simple as the air filter needing to be changed. It could be that the condenser coils need cleaning. It could be low or leaking refrigerant. Or, unfortunately, it could be that the condenser (outside unit) is broken.
Increased Utility Bills
Did you know that an HVAC system consumes more electricity than just about anything else in the average home? So, if it’s using more electricity than usual trying to keep running when something’s wrong, your bill will show it.
There are all sorts of noises an air conditioner might make, such as:
- Banging is likely a sign of a loose or broken part.
- Clanking is a sign of a loose or out-of-balance part.
- Clicking is a normal start-up and shut-down noise that might need checking if it becomes constant.
- Buzzing could mean one of several things (click the link to read more).
- Squealing occurs when the fan and blower motors tend to squeal when they’re wearing out.
- Humming is possibly a subtle warning that an electrical component or refrigerant hose should be checked.
- Chattering or rattling might mean some outdoor debris has clogged the system, but it could also mean the unit is on its last legs.
- Screaming could signal a refrigerant leak (or something equally dire). You should turn off the unit and call a technician right away.
The original list items are detailed. However, we believe most of them describe circumstances that call for a professional check if they occur.
If it’s some kind of burning or gunpowder-like smell, it could be a mechanical, electrical, or wiring issue. Whatever you might suspect, you should call a technician.
Your AC has several chemicals you wouldn’t want to be exposed to electricity or burning. And a chemical odor could signal a chemical leak, whether a refrigerant or something else.
And then, there’s the weirdly named “dirty sock syndrome,” which could be the result of mold and bacteria growth inside the unit. This could aggravate asthma, allergies, or other health conditions. If not treated, it could lead to further health problems.
Time to Cool Down: AC Repair Troubleshooting Is Done
That is to say, the brief troubleshooting overview is done. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for any real problems. All it means is that we’ve given you some hints at various things that could be wrong.
As we’ve said all through this article, if you sense that something might be wrong or you find the air conditioner broken altogether, get some professional help. Remember, AC repair troubleshooting isn’t the same as AC repair itself.
And even if you don’t think anything’s broken, don’t forget your annual AC maintenance visit either. We’re ready and waiting for your call!