When your air conditioner is serviced annually, it should run all summer without giving you problems. However, sometimes parts wear out and repairs need to be made. It's often difficult to know what's going on with your HVAC. Sometimes it could be something as simple as the power is switched off or the thermostat not set right. Other times, it could be a bad fan motor or refrigerant leak. You don't want to ignore problems with your AC because they'll probably be less expensive to repair when the problem is minor. Here are three signs you can watch for that signal the need to have your air conditioner checked:
Your air conditioner should be fairly quiet when it's operating normally. If you suddenly hear unusual noises or if you hear faint noises that gradually get louder over time, then it's a good idea to have the unit checked for problems. Unusual noises could be caused by parts working loose or a loose door panel. There might be a worn belt that's getting squeaky. The fan blades could be sticking and making a clicking sound. An HVAC contractor will diagnose the problem and get rid of the annoying sound and prevent further damage from happening to your AC.
More Water Than Usual
A puddle of water around your condenser or indoor air handler is usually a sign of trouble. If you look inside the panel, you may see the coils are frosted over and dripping. Another problem could be a blocked drain hose that's allowing the collected condensation to spill over. These could be signs your AC needs to be cleaned so it will work more efficiently. If the coils are frosting over, it's probably a matter of time before the unit stops cooling, so you want to have it checked soon or you may be without cool air when it breaks down.
As with any other electrical equipment, you should turn off your AC if you smell burning odors coming from it. You might smell plastic burning, which could indicate problems with the wiring. Your air conditioner can develop other bad odors too due to mold or bacteria growth in the unit. Normally, the air from your AC shouldn't have an odor at all, so if it suddenly starts smelling bad or smelling like smoke, it's time for a repair call.
Sometimes you can tell something is wrong even if you don't know why. Your AC may not turn on or it may stay on and not cycle off. It might start blowing warm air or it may have very little air output. Always remember to check your filter because a clogged filter causes all sorts of problems with an AC. If a new filter doesn't help, then you'll want to call for help before your home gets hot and stuffy.
If you're concerned about a problem with your air conditioner, call a contractor right away. You might be able to get an emergency service call, but even if you can't a contractor can let you know if you need to turn off your AC until it can be checked and repaired.
Check out a website like http://thurlowsheatingandair.com/ for more information and assistance.