Air Conditioner Repair
6 Symptoms of an Imminent Air Conditioner Breakdown

August 15, 2020

Air conditioning is a lifesaver in Jacksonville, FL, so a malfunctioning unit can be incredibly frustrating. It’s important to make repairs as quickly as possible to prevent the issue from worsening and to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Here are six signs of an imminent air conditioner breakdown:

Warm Air

Warm air is the most noticeable sign of a potential air conditioner breakdown. Before you panic, though, you can try a couple things to fix the problem. First, double-check that your thermostat is set to “cool” and the fan is set to “auto.” When the fan is set to “on,” it’ll blow warm air into your home when the AC system isn’t running.

If nothing’s wrong with your thermostat, check the air filter. A dirty or clogged air filter can prevent cool air from coming into your home. Fortunately, cleaning or replacing the air filter is very easy.

If the warm airflow persists after taking care of the filter, there may be a more serious problem. Warm air can be a sign of a refrigerant leak, which requires immediate repair. It could also be caused by a broken or failing compressor.

Weak Airflow

Like warm airflow, weak airflow can either be a quick fix or a serious problem. The most common cause is a dirty air filter, which stops most of the air from passing through. If the air filter is clean, there may be cracks in the duct work that prevent the system from delivering cool air. Cleaning and sealing duct leaks is usually a fairly simple repair when you work with a professional, but in severe cases, the air ducts may need to be replaced entirely.

Loud Noises

A healthy AC unit should make a consistent, droning sound. You may be headed for an air conditioner breakdown if you hear any of these noises:

  • Squealing.
  • Buzzing.
  • Rattling.
  • Clanging.
  • Grinding.
  • Hissing.

Strange noises can be caused by a number of issues that range in severity. It’s always important to get your AC unit checked out by a professional if it’s making loud sounds. Something could be loose inside the unit, or there may be a problem with the compressor.

Increasing Bills

It’s normal for your utility bill to fluctuate from season to season, but a sudden and drastic increase in your bill could be an indicator of an air conditioner breakdown. When your AC unit has to work harder to deliver the same result, your home’s energy usage can skyrocket.

Look back on your energy bills from the previous year to see if the change in your bill is typical. If you didn’t see an increase last year at this time, you should make sure your AC system is functioning properly.

Leaks or Moisture

Moisture around either the indoor or outdoor AC unit is often a bad sign. It can be a minor issue like a drain tube blockage, which causes the condensation to pool up. However, it also could be a refrigerant leak, which needs immediate repair. A refrigerant leak will stop your AC from functioning, and the substance can be harmful if you come into contact with it.

Outdoor Unit Vibrating

If the condenser unit vibrates or shakes when you turn the AC system on, it might be nearing a breakdown. This is usually a sign that the unit is hard-starting, which usually happens shortly before it fails. Don’t ignore this problem. If you notice the outside unit vibrating intensely, turn the AC off and call an HVAC professional for assistance.

Unfortunately, AC systems can malfunction in a number of ways. Air conditioner breakdowns are common, especially in older units. Keeping an eye out for the warning signs will help you catch a problem early, which will simplify the repair process. If you’re concerned about an air conditioner breakdown, Ocean State Air Conditioning & Heating is happy to help. Contact us today.

Image provided by Thinkstock

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