It’s hard to imagine what your life would be like without the modern benefit of air conditioning. Unfortunately, many of us only find out when we hear that death rattle of our AC unit and then come to the realization that our home may soon become the last place we want to be in Florida heat. Fortunately, if you know what to look and listen for, you can often catch the problem early. By doing so, you can save your unit from despair and your family from an unnaturally hot home.
Low Air Conditioning Flow
Obviously, air conditioning works by pumping out cold air. You can immediately tell when it stops working because of the temperature, but often you can also tell because of the lack of airflow. So, one sign that your unit is not working properly is if the thermostat stays the same, but the airflow doesn’t.
The first thing to do is check your system’s air filter. While the filter is meant to help keep your unit’s air clean, if it becomes too dirty, the unit can stop working properly. For this reason, most filters are meant to be changed or cleaned once every 1 to 3 months. If you check and your filter is fine, then you should call for professional help.
Loud Noises From Your AC Unit
When your unit first comes to life, it’s not unnatural to hear some noises. Often, it’s simply the sound of cold air pumping through your vents. Once it’s up and running, though, a properly working air conditioner should run quietly.
So, if your unit is making noises—especially loud ones—long after you’ve turned it on, this most likely means something is wrong with the system. Common sounds are those of grinding, screeching, and banging, all of which are indications that there is a mechanical issue keeping your unit from running properly. Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do without a professional’s help. In fact, you’d be best served by turning the unit off until a repairman looks at it.
Poor Air Output
Your air conditioner’s one job is to supply cool air to your home. So, if it fails to do this efficiently, that’s an obvious sign that something is up. Fortunately, this might just mean your system needs more coolant. Though this will usually still call for a professional, it’s at least an easy fix. Other times, unfortunately, it might mean a system is battling corrosion and rust.
While you will probably have to pay for a repairman if you notice any of these signs of distress, you’ll be better off in the long run. They all signal worse things to come and the results could be far more expensive to handle.