Air conditioning (AC) systems are known to be complex pieces of equipment. They require regular maintenance to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently. Cooling systems are prone to breakdowns. That’s why it’s necessary to hire a trusted professional service provider to perform regular inspections and repairs.
Indeed, most homeowners don’t consider hiring an AC technician until they need one. But even though you may not realize it, some signs indicate that your air conditioner needs professional attention. Here are seven common symptoms that point to your need for professional AC services:
- Your AC isn’t cooling properly
The first sign that you need a professional AC company to check your system is when your air conditioner doesn’t cool your home correctly. If you notice your house feels hot even though the temperature outside is cold, you should call an expert immediately.
There are two main reasons for this problem, as mentioned by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE):
- Clogged filter: A dirty filter could cause warm air to pass through the system.
- Duct leaks: Duct leaks can sap 20–40 percent of energy from a well-operating air conditioning system.
- Your AC makes loud noises
Another symptom that indicates you need professional AC services is loud noises from your air conditioner.
Manufacturers design air conditioners nowadays to provide you comfort while enjoying a quieter, cozier place than before. These manufacturers equip technologies such as high-efficiency cooling systems with sound dampening and two-stage compressors in AC systems. This component allow them to operate and keep noise below 55 decibels. (2)
The following are the types of noise your AC unit can make and what they mean:
- Banging: A sure sign that there’s a loose or broken component—a connecting rod, piston pin, or crankshafts—inside the air conditioner compressor.
- Clicking: Constant or ongoing clicking sounds are not typical for an electrical component. It could be a faulty control or a malfunctioning thermostat.
- Buzzing: Sometimes, buzzing sounds indicate electrical problems. If the unit refuses to start, check the motor for any issues. Loose wiring could also cause this problem.
- Whirring: If your AC sounds like a helicopter, there might be a problem with the indoor blowers or the outdoor unit. A faulty fan or motor can usually cause whirring noises in one of the indoor blower units. In other cases, a defective fan might be inside the indoor blower or outdoor unit. It may also indicate a broken belt in the system.
- Chattering: A rattle can mean that your air conditioning unit is deteriorating and some components loosen. Another possibility is that twigs or leaves have blocked your system. Next, you might want to check for loose screws or nuts in the unit’s casing. Finally, clean the condenser coils and replace your indoor air filter.
- Your AC is leaking water
When you detect water leaks from your AC, it might indicate trouble somewhere in the system. Water damage can destroy your unit and lead to mold growth.
A few causes of a leaking AC unit could include frozen evaporator coils, an overflowing or cracked drain pan, or a clogged drain line. All these could lead to severe damage when neglected, so make sure you contact your local AC repair services once you notice water leaks from your unit.
- Your AC won’t turn on
Your AC not turning on indicates that you must have a professional check your AC. When the power goes out, your AC will stop working. If your unit doesn’t turn on, it could be because the motor is not working correctly or the power supply is in trouble. When this happens, don’t try to resolve this issue by yourself. Instead, you should contact a trusted contractor immediately.
- Your AC keeps shutting off unexpectedly
Short cycling is when your cooling system shuts down prematurely and then cycles on and off frequently. In addition, short cycling is problematic because it leads to higher energy bills and causes unnecessary wear and tear on the heating and cooling systems. Defective components, a dirty or poorly-maintained system, or a fault in the control unit can cause short cycling.
- Your AC requires frequent repairs
Every unit is unique, and every homeowner has their idea of when their central air conditioning system is beyond repair. You should be able to enjoy between 15 and 20 years of cooling out of a new high-efficiency air conditioner with appropriate maintenance and care. (3)
However, suppose your air conditioner needs constant repairs. If that’s the case, it might be time to consider calling your local repairman or AC company to assess whether you need a replacement. Doing so can save you money and accidents.
- Your AC isn’t keeping up with the weather
The US Department of Energy (DOE) suggests that air conditioners work best at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, when the temperature rises above 90 outdoors, your air conditioner will struggle to keep up with the heat.
Suppose you live in an arid region and notice that your cooling unit struggles to keep your home cool. When this happens, you must call your local AC repair service provider to ensure that your air conditioner runs efficiently. In other cases, you’ll need to check your home for any cracks in the windows or walls that might contribute to your AC working harder than usual.
Why do you need professional AC services?
Homeowners enjoy the many benefits of hiring a professional AC service provider to handle all aspects of their air conditioning system. Here are just a few:
- They know how to maintain your AC
AC service professionals maintain all types of units, including split systems, ducted systems, window-mounted systems, rooftop systems, and more. By choosing an experienced AC service provider, you can rest assured that they have the tools and expertise to perform routine maintenance and repairs.
- They offer preventative maintenance plans
These companies design preventive maintenance programs to catch problems before they become significant issues. These programs typically cover everything from regular tune-ups to emergency repairs. In addition, professional AC services offer preventative maintenance plans that will give you peace of mind knowing that your equipment is always ready for action.
- They are familiar with industry standards
An experienced AC service company will adhere to industry standards. It means they use quality parts and materials and follow strict safety guidelines. It also means they will carefully inspect your home’s mechanical system to ensure it operates safely and effectively.
- They are knowledgeable about your specific situation
Professional AC services specializing in residential air conditioning will understand your system type, location, and any other factors that may affect its performance. For example, a commercial air conditioning company will likely be better equipped to handle the demands of a large office building than a small apartment complex.
- They are licensed and insured
State law requires licensed and insured professionals to carry liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and general liability insurance. Additionally, they must comply with state licensing requirements. A reputable company will display these documents on its website so that customers can verify their credentials.
When it comes to your AC unit, proper maintenance and care are required. To get the most out of your investment, it helps to hire a professional who understands your needs and has experience working with AC systems.
American Home Shield. “Various AC Noises and What They Might Mean.” https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/repair-maintenance/what-ac-noises-mean/.
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. “Top Ten Things Consumers Should Know About Air Conditioning.” https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/free-resources/top-ten-things-consumers-should-know-about-air-conditioning.
Carrier. “How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?” https://www.carrier.com/residential/en/ca/products/air-conditioners/how-long-do-air-conditioners-last/.