Typically, an air conditioning (AC) system that’s in good working condition is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. Aside from creating a pleasant home environment, it can also help remove molds and pollutants in the air, making it beneficial for family members with asthma and allergies. This is one reason you should take care of your AC unit at all times.

However, there may be instances when your unit fails all of a sudden. In such a case, you need to know how to identify a malfunctioning air conditioning system so you can promptly address the issues at hand.

Thus, to make sure your air conditioning unit will continue to serve your household through the years, below are the five warning signs of AC system failure that you should watch out for.

  1. The Air Is Not Cold Enough

If you feel like the temperature in your home isn’t the same as what you’ve set on the thermostat, then it can be an indication of potential air conditioning failure. When this happens, the air may not be cold enough to make your place comfortable, especially during the summer months. The common reason is that the thermostat may have become defective due to constant sunlight exposure, thereby causing it to display a higher temperature.

So if you consistently notice that the air isn’t cold enough anymore, check the thermostat and determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced by calling a technician who can handle both your heating and cooling needs. By doing this, you can prevent further AC problems from occurring in your home.

  1. Weak Airflow

Another warning sign that your AC is going to fail is weak airflow. Generally, the power used by an air conditioning system comes from the compressor. But when this equipment becomes defective, the unit may not have sufficient power to move air through the vents. Because of this, it’s best to talk to an experienced HVAC technician to know whether a compressor repair or replacement is in order.

On the other hand, weak airflow coming from your air conditioning unit may also be due to some minor problems such as the following:

  • Dirty and clogged air filter: This can block airflow and trigger a lot of AC problems. As such, it’s best to replace it from time to time.
  • Blocked vents: These can also affect the airflow coming from your system. When this issue comes up, check the vents and remove any blockage to improve air circulation and avoid further AC issues.
  • Air duct leaks: These can weaken the airflow from your AC unit. To remedy this, you can seal the leaks using aluminum foil tape or a mastic sealant. But if you’re looking for a more effective way of resolving air duct leaks, hiring a professional who provides exceptional duct cleaning for your home is a great option.
  1. Strange Noises

Hearing strange noises from your air conditioning system can be a warning sign that it’s going to fail. Squealing, banging, and grinding noises can be due to a loose part, an issue with the belt, and similar problems.

Hence, when you hear such noises more consistently, it’s time to seek help from a professional technician to resolve the issue. By not ignoring any unusual sound, you’ll be able to spot a problem before it worsens and damages your AC unit permanently.

  1. Drastic Increases In Your Power Bill

When you notice that your power bill has increased drastically, it can be an indication that your air conditioning unit is about to fail. The most common cause of this problem is that your system has to work overtime to keep up. As a result, you’re wasting energy and, at the same time, stressing your unit.

However, the more the air conditioning has to overwork, the higher the possibility it’ll fail prematurely. When this happens, you may have to spend a considerable amount of money to fix the problem. So to avoid this issue, you have to do something when you start noticing a significant increase in your power bill. Doing so can help you cut down on your power bill and save money in the long run.

  1. Burning Or Musty Smell

Typically, a strange odor can be a warning sign that there’s something wrong with your AC system. Thus, when you smell something burning or musty, it can be due to a problem with your vents or outdoor compressor. To determine what’s causing the strange smell, it’s best to hire a professional HVAC technician to check it out.


As a homeowner, you should understand the importance of having a fully functional air conditioning unit in your home and how it can affect your life in the long run. For this reason, it’s crucial to maintain your system properly to avoid more serious problems. However, if you don’t want your AC to fail permanently, keep these warning signs in mind so you can address issues as soon as possible. In case you spot any of them, don’t hesitate to call a professional so they can take a look at the situation and provide the right solutions.

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