Common Air Conditioning Problems

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When your air conditioning isn’t working properly, you probably don’t care much what the most common air conditioning problems are. You care only that you have a problem and it’s a sweltering hot summer day.

Well, maybe you didn’t need us to confirm what was all too evident. But did you know that in the United States, air conditioning units are now more common than dining rooms or garages?  In fact, according to the Energy Information Association, 75 percent of US homes have central air conditioning systems.

So, knowing what the most common air conditioning problems are, as well as their causes and what you can do about them, could help you navigate to cooler air, lower utility bills and a longer life for your equipment.

Most Common Air Conditioning Problems To Watch For:

Air Conditioning Running Constantly

It’s normal for the air conditioner to run more often in hot weather, but it should still turn off periodically. There may be a problem with the thermostat, the compressor or the electrical wiring. Correcting an AC that won’t shut off protects vital AC components and prevents unnecessarily high energy bills.

Warm Air

Permit us one more Captain Obvious statement. Your air conditioner is supposed to deliver cool air throughout your home to make it more comfortable on a hot day. So if you feel warm air coming out of your vents, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your system. It could be a dirty air filter, an obstruction in the ducts or compressor, or low levels of refrigerant. Many homeowners are comfortable changing their own air fitters. But for other issues, it’s best to call an HVAC professional to diagnose your problem.

Weak Airflow

Another common sign that there’s a problem with your air conditioner is weak airflow coming through your vents. Poor airflow means that there’s not enough air circulating to cool the room. The cause is often leaky ductwork, a clogged filter, or a build-up of debris in your ducts. It could also be a sign that the compressor is failing. You can prevent some of these problems by scheduling regular tune-ups, not only to make sure the system is functioning as it should, but to identify any minor issues that could become costly repairs later on.

Loud Noises

The indoor unit of your AC system should operate quietly. But if you suddenly hear unusual noises coming from it, such as squealing, grinding, or scraping, it means it needs repair. It may be loose parts in need of tightening or lubrication, or it could be something more serious. Either way, the issue should be addressed immediately before what was once an easy fix develops into a costly repair.

Odd Smells

Your air conditioner should never smell bad. When it does, it’s a sure sign that something isn’t right. A strong burning smell usually indicates that the insulation on the wiring has been burned. Clogged air filters can also cause the system to overheat. Both lead to a higher risk of fire. If you detect a burning smell, turn the AC off right away. Musty or mildew smells signal improper drainage. To prevent these odors, change air filters often, and schedule regular cleaning of your home’s ducts and AC system. Addressing these issues as soon as possible helps keep your family healthy.

Leaking Around The Unit

While it’s reasonable to see some condensation outside the air conditioner, excessive moisture can be a sign of leaking water. Water leaks are caused by blocked drainage pipes or faulty condensate pumps.

In addition, lines and connections in the AC system may degrade over time, leading to refrigerant leaks. Most often these leaks appear in coolant lines. But if you notice a leaking refrigerant, turn off the unit. Refrigerant is a hazardous material and therefore should only be handled by a professional. Call your AC service provider right away to determine where the leak is coming from and to repair it. Low refrigerant levels can severely damage the compressor.

Sudden Spikes In Utility Bills

While you can expect to see some fluctuations in utility bills, especially when the warm weather hits, sudden spikes can be an indication that your system isn’t running efficiently.  Its likely there are broken parts or leaks that need to be repaired, or perhaps its a sign that the system needs a tune-up.

Regular maintenance performed by a professional prevents many of these common AC problems. Yet, despite recommendations from HVAC companies, only 43 percent of Americans have yearly maintenance performed on their central air conditioning. Statistics show that regularly maintained systems last about 40 percent longer than those that aren’t.

Levco – The Obvious Choice

When you partner with a company like Levco, you don’t have to sweat the details. Levco is the premier provider of heating and cooling services as well as oil and propane delivery in Connecticut. Levco is family owned and operated, offering the highest quality service to thousands of homeowners for more than 40 years. Call us to learn how we can help your home and your family stay comfortable all year long.

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