When the summer starts and the temperatures start to rise, one of the things that most people do is turn on their air conditioner. But perhaps it’s time that you buy a new one. How do you know when that time is? Are their signs that you should look for?
In general, an air conditioner isn’t going to stop working without giving you a few indications that it is on its last legs. So rather than sitting and wondering if your air conditioning unit is going to last another season, here are some good indicators that perhaps you should get a new one.
1. You Have Had It More Than Ten Years
A lot of times, an air conditioner won’t last more than a decade. So if your air conditioning is nearing that mark or you know that it is at least ten years old, it may be time to retire it, based on its age.
2. The Unit Smells
A lot of experts maintain that if you’re noticing a smell that is coming from your air conditioning, it could mean that there is trouble ahead. That acrid odor could indicate the wire insulation is burned or there has been a short in the electricity. It also could simply mean the wiring has high resistance.
3. Circuit Break Trips Constantly
If your air conditioning is constantly tripping your circuit breaker, it might mean that your wiring has an overload, meaning that there are electrical surges taking place. If you are noticing this, it’s best to have the wiring checked out to avoid problems.
4. Strange Noises
Does your air conditioning seem to making a lot of strange noises? This also could mean that your unit is on its way out. Noises like rattling or growling could mean the fan belt’s broken, the motor is detective, or you have a part that’s loose. If you’re noticing a clicking noise, it could mean the relay or capacitor is attempting to turn on. If the system’s running but there’s no cooling, this could mean that the level of Freon has dropped or the condenser has failed. Feel the big copper line coming from your condenser and this will let you know if that’s the problem. If it’s cool, the problem isn’t that. But if it’s warm chances are that it’s your Freon or condenser.
5. There are Fluids Leaking
AC units are often subject to condensation anytime the air that’s moist is passing along the evaporation coil. But if you’re noticing the unit’s leaking fluid, it could be a simple mechanical issue requiring a contractor. Water that’s leaking outside or inside the house could mean your coil’s drainage system’s stopped up. You also might see oil leaking, and this could cause a problem with rust that you will need to fix quickly. One really big sign that you need a new system is when you’re noticing refrigerant leaks.
6. There’s Ice on Your Condenser
If you start noticing that there isn’t cool air coming from the air conditioner, your filter could be blocked. If your air flow’s restricted, that cool air is going to be trapped inside your system and mean that there are parts freezing up. If your condenser line has a buildup of ice, this could be because of your filter. But it also might be a larger issue like there’s a big blockage in your air ducts. Either issue will require an air conditioning technician to diagnose the problem.
7. Poor Performance
Most problems that are listed above are going to result in your air conditioning not performing as well as it can. Your air conditioner is going to have lower efficiency due to leaks in your refrigerant and therefore it will take longer for your home to become cool. Remember that when your air conditioner is broken it won’t always have a sign that you can see. Sometimes you are going to notice problems with performance before noticing a noise or leak.
Another good way to check is to look at your power bills. If you are noticing an increase in your power bill because your air conditioning is running a lot. To know what the problem with your air conditioner is, it’s best to hire an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem.
These are some of the ways that you can tell that your air conditioner is going bad. Get to know your air conditioner and call an HVAC professional if you notice anything wrong so that you can enjoy a cool house during the summer!