Most homeowners rely heavily on their air conditioners during the summer months. A functioning AC system allows residential interiors to become welcome respites from the intense heat of a summer afternoon.
The last thing that you need is your cooling system shutting down and leaving you without the ability to regulate the temperature in your home. It is rare that a cooling system will stop working with no prior warning. Watch for these distress signals your AC may be sending to try and warn you of an impending failure.
1. Strange Noises
If you listen closely enough, your cooling system can speak to you. While it may not scream out that it needs to be repaired, it can produce some strange sounds that alert you to a potential problem. Buzzing, clanging, and grinding are distressing sounds you should be mindful of when evaluating the condition of your home's cooling system.
These sounds can indicate a problem with the blower motor or loose motor mounts inside your AC unit. Any sounds that you don't recognize as being normal for your cooling system should be investigated by an experienced HVAC professional.
2. Warmer Air
One of the more obvious distress signals an AC system can send out is a failure to produce cooled air.
If you notice an increase in the air temperature coming from your vents during an AC cycle, this is cause for concern. Your air conditioner may have low refrigerant levels, or the condenser coil may be frozen and unable to complete the heat transfer process effectively.
Damaged air ducts can also cause a reduction in air temperature by allowing some of the cooled air produced by your AC unit to escape into the dead spaces within your home. Changes in air temperature should be checked out by an AC repair technician to avoid more serious damage to your unit.
3. Short Cycle Time
You should always pay attention to how often your AC cycles on and off during the course of the day. Short-cycling can be a serious problem that reduces the usable life of your cooling components.
An AC unit that is short-cycling could have a dirty air filter, a refrigerant leak, or serious electrical problems that need to be repaired by a professional. Don't let short-cycling cause an increase in your monthly utility costs or reduce the lifespan of your cooling system — invest in immediate repairs when you notice a change in cycle time.