Air conditioners are placed under a lot of strain during the summer season. More strain means more wear and tear, which means a higher chance for problems to develop. That doesn’t mean that you should just go without using your air conditioner, of course. It just means that you should keep an eye out for any signs that your air conditioner is struggling in some way. If you can respond quickly to a malfunction and get it repaired, it’ll be better off in the long run. Have a look at the following signs that your air conditioner is in need of repairs.
If fluid is leaking from your air conditioner, it could be one of two things. It could be condensate, which should still be fixed but isn’t an imminent threat to the health of your system, or it could be refrigerant. Refrigerant leaks are a serious issue because they cripple the air conditioner’s ability to cool the home. The lower the refrigerant level in the air conditioner drops, the less able the system will be to do its job. The refrigerant level can eventually drop low enough that the entire air conditioner breaks down. So, make sure that you call for repairs if you notice fluid leaking from your system.
If the air conditioner is turning itself off only a couple minutes after turning on instead of reaching the target temperature, then it’s short cycling. Short cycling is most often caused by an electrical issue in the system, causing it to shut down before it can complete a full cooling cycle. This prevents the system from cooling properly, but it also increases the amount of wear and tear the system experiences. The longer the air conditioner short cycles, the more prone to breaking down it will be. Short cycling can also shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by a number of years. Make sure that you call for repairs if you notice your air conditioner short cycling.
If you’ve had your air conditioner for any length of time, then you probably know what it’s supposed to sound like while it’s operating. If at any point your air conditioner starts to make noises that it doesn’t normally make, you should have a technician look at it. Unusual noises are commonly the first sign a homeowner notices of something going wrong with the system. What exactly the problem is, and how serious it is, will depend on what kind of noise your system is making.
Grinding noises often indicate that the air handler in the system needs to have its bearings replaced. This should be done soon, before the air handler overheats and burns out. Hissing and gurgling often mean that air bubbles are forming in the refrigerant line, which could indicate a leak. Any unusual noises should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible, just in case they indicate something serious.