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5 Warning Signs That Something’s Wrong With Your A/C Unit

Posted on June 22, 2017Rick Welter

In Minnesota, air conditioners typically go unused from October to May. That’s roughly eight months standing idle—and issues can crop up when it’s finally time to flip the on switch when the summer heat hits.

We recommend that all homeowners test run their air conditioners when the first 75-degree day of the season hits, so they can diagnose whether any maintenance or repairs are needed before the hot streak of the summer hits. Of course, Minnesota weather doesn’t allow for precise preparation. In 2013, temperatures hit 98 in early May—well before the typical timing of a summer heat wave.

So, whether your air conditioner is already running or you haven’t kicked it on, you should be aware of some warning signs that signal it’s time call in an HVAC professional for maintenance or repair. Below we highlight five of those warning signs.

1. No Cool Air

Quite obviously, if you have your air conditioner turned on, but your home isn’t getting cooler, something’s wrong. For most homes, a good barometer for whether your A/C is working correctly is if your home’s temperature drops at least one degree per hour when your A/C is running.

If your temperature isn’t dropping at this rate, don’t panic yet. There are several possible scenarios for why your A/C isn’t producing cool air. Some are easy fixes, others require a HVAC technician.

A few of the steps you can take to quickly fix a lack of cool air includes changing the air filter, clearing debris away from the outdoor unit and checking the condensate line. For a complete list of do-it-yourself tips, take a look at our DIY A/C checklist.

2. Poor Air Flow

Weak air flow is an indicator that your A/C system needs attention. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in awhile, built-up debris could explain poor air flow. Pollen, mold, dust, bacteria, pet dander and carpet fibers can all accumulate and cause air flow issues in your air ducts.

Having your ducts cleaned annually by an HVAC professional and regularly changing your air filter is a great way to prevent poor air flow. If your air ducts are clean and your filter has been replaced, poor air flow is most likely the consequence of compressor malfunction.

3. Strange Sounds

Your A/C unit and ducts shouldn’t make much noise beyond a steady hum. Any banging, squealing or clicking is a sign that your A/C unit needs to be examined, and in some cases replaced.

One common sound that you might hear from your air conditioner system is a popping sound coming from your vents. The good news, this isn’t a sign that you need air conditioner repair. A popping sound from your vents means that the air in your metal ductwork is expanding. If it really drives you nuts, adding insulation to your ductwork can minimize the sound.

Want to learn more about what each specific HVAC noise indicates? Check out our blog post where we explain common HVAC noises.

4. Foul Smells

When it comes to smells emitting from your air conditioning system, use the same rule of thumb that you do with items in your refrigerator. If it smells unpleasant, it’s more than likely not a good thing.

More often than not, foul smells coming from your vents or unit is the consequence of mold or mildew in your air ducts. While it’s not healthy to be breathing in mold and mildew, it is an easy fix. Having an A/C professional come to your home to clean your ducts can remedy the issue quickly.

5. Leaking

The two most common causes of leaking from your air conditioning unit are the refrigerant line and condensate line. Both are easy repairs, but can cause significant damage if left unattended.

A condensate line is the apparatus that drains the condensation from your HVAC unit. A draining failure is an easy thing for a homeowner to detect as it will cause a buildup in moisture either on the interior of your home, by the condensate drain pan, or on, or near, your exterior unit. Leaking will limit your system’s efficiency and can cause water damage within your home.

The second area where leaking occurs is the refrigerant line. Malfunctions with your refrigerant line are a health risk for you and your family because the refrigerant line contains freon, which can cut off oxygen to your lungs. Freon is a mostly odorless gas, so having an annual A/C inspection is an advisable step to detecting refrigerant line leaking.

Do these symptoms sound familiar?

A lack of cool air, poor air flow, strange sounds emerging from your system, foul smells and leaking are all signs that your A/C system needs some attention. Some can be quick DIY fixes, while others are more serious and require a visit from an HVAC professional.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues contact us today and take advantage of our $99-dollar maintenance special. If you haven’t already, check out our summer A/C checklist and learn some easy steps you can take to diagnosing other potential A/C issues.

 

 

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5 Warning Signs That Something’s Wrong With Your A/C Unit

Posted on June 22, 2017Rick Welter

In Minnesota, air conditioners typically go unused from October to May. That’s roughly eight months standing idle—and issues can crop up when it’s finally time to flip the on switch when the summer heat hits.

We recommend that all homeowners test run their air conditioners when the first 75-degree day of the season hits, so they can diagnose whether any maintenance or repairs are needed before the hot streak of the summer hits. Of course, Minnesota weather doesn’t allow for precise preparation. In 2013, temperatures hit 98 in early May—well before the typical timing of a summer heat wave.

So, whether your air conditioner is already running or you haven’t kicked it on, you should be aware of some warning signs that signal it’s time call in an HVAC professional for maintenance or repair. Below we highlight five of those warning signs.

1. No Cool Air

Quite obviously, if you have your air conditioner turned on, but your home isn’t getting cooler, something’s wrong. For most homes, a good barometer for whether your A/C is working correctly is if your home’s temperature drops at least one degree per hour when your A/C is running.

If your temperature isn’t dropping at this rate, don’t panic yet. There are several possible scenarios for why your A/C isn’t producing cool air. Some are easy fixes, others require a HVAC technician.

A few of the steps you can take to quickly fix a lack of cool air includes changing the air filter, clearing debris away from the outdoor unit and checking the condensate line. For a complete list of do-it-yourself tips, take a look at our DIY A/C checklist.

2. Poor Air Flow

Weak air flow is an indicator that your A/C system needs attention. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in awhile, built-up debris could explain poor air flow. Pollen, mold, dust, bacteria, pet dander and carpet fibers can all accumulate and cause air flow issues in your air ducts.

Having your ducts cleaned annually by an HVAC professional and regularly changing your air filter is a great way to prevent poor air flow. If your air ducts are clean and your filter has been replaced, poor air flow is most likely the consequence of compressor malfunction.

3. Strange Sounds

Your A/C unit and ducts shouldn’t make much noise beyond a steady hum. Any banging, squealing or clicking is a sign that your A/C unit needs to be examined, and in some cases replaced.

One common sound that you might hear from your air conditioner system is a popping sound coming from your vents. The good news, this isn’t a sign that you need air conditioner repair. A popping sound from your vents means that the air in your metal ductwork is expanding. If it really drives you nuts, adding insulation to your ductwork can minimize the sound.

Want to learn more about what each specific HVAC noise indicates? Check out our blog post where we explain common HVAC noises.

4. Foul Smells

When it comes to smells emitting from your air conditioning system, use the same rule of thumb that you do with items in your refrigerator. If it smells unpleasant, it’s more than likely not a good thing.

More often than not, foul smells coming from your vents or unit is the consequence of mold or mildew in your air ducts. While it’s not healthy to be breathing in mold and mildew, it is an easy fix. Having an A/C professional come to your home to clean your ducts can remedy the issue quickly.

5. Leaking

The two most common causes of leaking from your air conditioning unit are the refrigerant line and condensate line. Both are easy repairs, but can cause significant damage if left unattended.

A condensate line is the apparatus that drains the condensation from your HVAC unit. A draining failure is an easy thing for a homeowner to detect as it will cause a buildup in moisture either on the interior of your home, by the condensate drain pan, or on, or near, your exterior unit. Leaking will limit your system’s efficiency and can cause water damage within your home.

The second area where leaking occurs is the refrigerant line. Malfunctions with your refrigerant line are a health risk for you and your family because the refrigerant line contains freon, which can cut off oxygen to your lungs. Freon is a mostly odorless gas, so having an annual A/C inspection is an advisable step to detecting refrigerant line leaking.

Do these symptoms sound familiar?

A lack of cool air, poor air flow, strange sounds emerging from your system, foul smells and leaking are all signs that your A/C system needs some attention. Some can be quick DIY fixes, while others are more serious and require a visit from an HVAC professional.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues contact us today and take advantage of our $99-dollar maintenance special. If you haven’t already, check out our summer A/C checklist and learn some easy steps you can take to diagnosing other potential A/C issues.

 

 

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