It is very easy to take an HVAC system for granted. After all, it just does its job day after day without a lot of intervention. Most of the time, all you really need to do with it is change the thermostat once in a while. However, when it stops working, people stop taking it for granted and realize just how important it is to have temperature control in a building. This is when they will call an HVAC professional to come fix the problem as soon as possible.
If you do not have a lot of experience when it comes to working with HVAC professionals, you might wonder, what should I look for in a residential HVAC professional? What should I know about AC and heating installation? Where can I find the best AC heating and cooling unit that is available? How can I find AC repair near me now? What is the average AC unit and installation cost? Most of the time, an HVAC professional will be able to answer these questions for you or point you in the direction of someone who can. You can also do your own research and become knowledgeable on your own before talking to a professional.
As many as 66% of the homes in the U.S. have air conditioners. As the months heat up across the nation, those units start to come back to life. If all goes well, your air conditioner moderates the temperature in your home, keeping you and your family comfortable all Summer long.
If things don’t go quite so well, it could mean your unit is in need of repair. Here are the most common sign your air conditioner needs maintenance or replacing by an HVAC company:
- No cold air If your system isn’t putting out air as cold as it used to, even when at full blast, your HVAC system may be in need of serious repair. There are a couple possible culprits for a lack of cold air. It could mean your compressor has failed or perhaps the Freon levels in your system are too low. If you’re running on a unit that uses Freon, chances are it’s time to replace it anyways as the government has been phasing out use of this chemical due to environmental concerns. It’s best to consult with an HVAC company to determine if maintenance or replacement makes more sense for your unit.
- Temperature discrepancies between rooms If it’s too hot in one room but cold in others, it may be a sign of poor air flow or failing AC equipment. Weak air flow is often attributed to the compressor failing, but when the temperature is noticeably different in various rooms of your home, it’s more likely due to your unit needing to be cleaned or your air ducts sealed. If the temperature swings are spread out across various sections of your house as opposed to specific rooms, however, the culprit may be a faulty thermostat as opposed to a failing or dirty unit.
- Excessive dust Another sign that your air ducts may be leaking is excessive dust in your home. This could also mean your air filter is clogged. If the problem persists even after cleaning the air filter and sealing the ducts, there could be a larger problem with the equipment itself. In such cases, your best recourse is to contact an AC repair company.
- Moisture where it shouldn’t be If your AC seems to be leaking, chances are it’s due to two main reasons: the drain tube or the refrigerant. If water pools adjacent to your conditioner, the drain tube could be blocked or broken, preventing it from disposing of any condensation produced by the air conditioner. While not a serious maintenance concern, blocked or broken drain tubes should be addressed promptly to prevent more severe problems such as mold. Refrigerant leaks, on the other hand, pose a more serious issue. Such leaks can present health risks to you and your family. Contact an HVAC company for AC repair services immediately. If the moisture you’re experiencing isn’t around your air conditioning unit but rather in the air of your home, it could point back to your ducts. An air conditioner that has broken parts or leaky ductwork may cause excess humidity in your home.
- It doesn’t sound right Stange sounds such as grating, grinding, or squealing are a sign a replacement is in order. Such sounds are a sign of internal problems with the unit and should be addressed by an HVAC company repairman as soon as possible.
- Old age Most HVAC units last between 15 and 20 years. Nearly one in five homes built in the 1980s are still using air conditioning equipment that’s over 20 years old. If your unit is over 15 years old, chances are it’s time for a replacement. The upside is that while replacing the entire unit may sound costly, in the long run a newer, more efficient unit can save you money by cutting energy costs. Switching to a high-efficiency unit could help you cut energy use by 20% to 50% when coupled with other strategies to keep your home cool.
Over time, your HVAC unit becomes less and less efficient. Like computers, the physical life of your unit may be longer than its economic life. Even if your unit appears to be operating okay, it can’t hurt to consult with an HVAC company on the cost of replacement and higher-efficiency units that are available today.