When the weather is hot and humid in St. Charles, Louisiana, your home’s air conditioning system helps to keep you and your family comfortable. However, if your AC unit is struggling to keep up with the demands of the summer season, you may notice a few warning signs. Keep an eye out for some of the most common warning signs of a failing air conditioner.
Increasing Energy Bills
It’s normal for your electricity to go up during the summer months when you’re running your air conditioner for longer periods of time to accommodate the heat and humidity. However, drastic fluctuations between summer months or even year after year can indicate a problem. In fact, rising energy bills are often an early warning sign of AC trouble. An older unit uses more energy to cool down the air in your home, so yours may be reaching the end of its functional life span.
Poor efficiency may also be to blame for increasing monthly bills, which can be caused by several issues. One of these is failing to change the air filter regularly. When the HVAC filter is clogged with dirt and debris, it slows down the airflow, which makes the system work harder to move air throughout the rooms in your home. Poor efficiency can also occur if your system isn’t maintained. Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your air conditioner running smoothly throughout the hottest months of the year.
Weak or Warm Airflow
When you adjust the temperature on your thermostat, the cooling system should kick on right away to start adjusting the indoor temperature. If the air coming through your vents feels warm or the airflow level is weak, your unit may be struggling to keep up. Hot and cold spots in your home can also indicate a problem, especially if the vents are open in each space. Warm air moving through the vents when the system is set to cool can indicate low levels of refrigerant, while weak airflow can mean your unit’s compressor is going out. Either of these issues might also be due to a dirty air filter.
Strange Sounds or Odors
The presence of odd sounds or unpleasant odors can also be concerning. If you hear squealing, grinding, grating, or thumping, you should have an HVAC technician check out the unit right away. These noises can mean a part has come loose and is grinding or bumping against another.
Unpleasant odors indicate different issues with your system. For example, a musty odor often means you have moisture somewhere in the unit, which can happen when the drain lines get clogged. An electrical or burning odor may mean your wiring has gone bad. Any of these smells should alert you to contact one of our HVAC technicians right away.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
In addition to cooling the air and removing excess humidity, your air conditioning system is responsible for removing contaminants from the air you breathe. A sudden change in the indoor air quality can indicate an AC problem. The fix may be as simple as swapping out the air filter, or it could indicate that your system is reaching the end of its life span.
Dirty indoor air can cause a number of health problems, including allergy symptoms like headaches, throat and eye irritation, skin rashes, and congestion. Long-term exposure has even been linked to cardiovascular issues and certain types of cancer. It’s important to be aware of the quality of the air you breathe in your home and to take steps to address any problems.
If your air conditioner cycles on and off frequently, this problem is referred to as short cycling. It can indicate one of several problems. You may have an AC unit that is oversized or undersized for the space, or your unit might not be getting enough power. If the problem is with the power supply, continuing to run your air conditioner could impact your home’s breakers or overall power supply, so it’s important to get it checked out.
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