Air conditioners always seem to break down at the most inconvenient times, like on a scorching day when it is pushed beyond its limits. A fully functional AC benefits you and your family regarding health and comfort. A complete breakdown will obviously necessitate a repair call, but you might overlook some seemingly minor problems that could lead to more major issues. Here are some top signs that may indicate an underlying problem with your AC system.

1. High Humidity

One of your AC system’s main jobs is reducing the humidity in your indoor air. Whenever there is high humidity in your home, you will notice that it feels much warmer than usual indoors. If you feel like the temperature reading on your thermostat does not match the feeling in the room, high humidity is the most likely culprit.

High humidity forces the AC to work harder to lower the moisture content in the air and keep your home comfortable. It does this by condensing the water vapor into liquid and draining the excess. A unit that is correctly sized will dehumidify effectively in most cases, but if the system is faulty, it might struggle to keep up with the demand.

The best indicators of high humidity levels in your home include foggy windows, moist-feeling air, and a musty smell. To address the problem, set the air conditioner’s thermostat fan setting to auto rather than on. If the humidity remains high, you will need to schedule a visit with an HVAC professional to inspect the unit and perform any needed repairs.

2. Warm Air

You expect your air conditioner to move cool air throughout your home, but if it starts blowing hot air when it’s already hot and humid outside, you know you’ve got a problem. The source of the problem could be a few different things, including a dirty filter, a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken compressor, or low refrigerant levels.

The air that passes through the air conditioner and into your home must pass through the air filter, but the air filter can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris over time, which affects the efficiency of the unit. Check the filter, and replace it if needed.

The thermostat controls the system. It should be turned to cooling mode and set to a temperature lower than your home’s current temperature. If the problem persists, you might have a problem with the thermostat or another part of the system.

The compressor, which is in the part of the air conditioner located outdoors, circulates the refrigerant through the system. The refrigerant absorbs heat and humidity to help your home stay cool.

While DIY fixes can be tempting, they can result in further damage and the need for more expensive repairs. A qualified HVAC technician is in the best position to inspect, diagnose, and repair AC problems.

3. Bad Odors

An efficient AC unit is not supposed to smell bad. If that occurs, then there is an underlying problem. Foul smells from your system can indicate many problems, from clogged filters to burned-out wires that are slowly melting the plastic coating of the copper. A musty smell might also indicate mold growing inside your unit. You will need to deal with the problem before it gets worse.

Fortunately, a professional diagnosis will indicate whether your unit needs a complete cleaning session or a more high-tech solution. Professionals can install ultraviolet (UV) lamps at specific locations in your AC to eliminate mold, kill bacteria and viruses, and reduce odors. Doing that will mean an improved air quality in your home. In addition, UV lights can increase the efficiency of your AC unit by helping it run more cleanly. Cleaning the ductwork can also address foul odor issues.

4. Frequent Cycles

The process through which your AC unit turns on, runs, and turns off is known as a cycle. If your unit cycles rapidly, it is most likely experiencing short cycles, a common problem affecting many homes during the summer months. Your AC cycles regularly to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat, meaning you are familiar with the sounds and rhythm it makes through a cycle. Therefore, you are more inclined to notice whenever your unit makes frequent cycles or runs unusually short cycles.

While you can expect the unit to turn on frequently during the hottest summer days, the cycles should not be constant. You should seek immediate professional help to avoid a spike in your electricity bills or a complete breakdown. And even though a quick AC tune-up may solve the problem, frequent cycling may indicate that you need a new unit.

5. Strange Noises

Modern AC systems emit a certain amount of low-level noise as they turn on and turn off. The noise is usually easy to cope with and causes no disturbance. However, if your system makes any clicking, humming, banging, rattling, or humming sounds when operating, it could signal a bigger problem within your AC. Never ignore these noises as long as they are higher than normal levels. A rattling sound may indicate a loose part within your system while a hissing or grinding sound may indicate a more serious problem, such as an overused expansion valve or severe duct leak in the house. Strange noises do not go away by themselves, and they will keep getting worse. However, if your system is generally old, you should begin making arrangements to replace it.

6. Water Leaks

Your AC relies heavily on refrigerant to keep your home cool and produce condensation as it operates. These two liquids should never accumulate or leak in your home. Thus, moisture leaks in or around your main unit clearly indicate a malfunction. Water drips could also happen if the unit is old and the condensate becomes rusted or damaged. In such a case, water does not pass through the designated channel and leaks through the main unit instead. This issue must be dealt with as soon as possible before leading to more serious structural issues in your home.

Summing Up

The average lifespan of a well-maintained AC unit is between 10 and 15 years. If your unit has one or more of the above issues, it might be time to schedule a repair. If the issue does not disappear, consider replacing the system. Ensure your system is regularly serviced so that it will serve you more efficiently throughout its lifespan. Repairing your unit can save you money in the long term by reducing your utility bills.

Rely on the Professionals

Are you a resident of Fresno or the surrounding areas experiencing one or more of the above issues with your AC? Give us a call today at Allbritten. Our team of professionals will handle any HVAC job given to them with expertise. Calling for service sooner reduces the chances of allowing the problem to escalate. You can also rely on us for your plumbing needs, indoor air quality services, and home energy audits.

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