Dealing with an air conditioner outage in your Birmingham, Alabama, home can be very stressful, particularly during the hottest months of the year. Although some outages happen without warning, it’s possible to detect whether your air conditioner needs repair or is on the verge of failure by watching out for a few common warning signs. Here are some red flags that mean your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced that every homeowner should keep in mind.
Don’t Put Off Air Conditioner Repairs
Repairing an air conditioner tends to be less expensive than replacing one, but if you overlook needed repairs for an extended period of time, your air conditioner may end up failing, leaving replacement as your only option. By looking out for a few warning signs, you should be able to determine when your system needs repair so that you can avoid an outage.
Blowing Hot Air
Hot air coming from your air conditioning system is one of the most common indicators that a repair is necessary. In general, when your air conditioner blows hot air instead of cool, there is a problem with the compressor or refrigerant in your system. Sometimes compressor issues end up as something simple, such as a blown fuse. Hopefully, your technician will be able to repair your compressor or add refrigerant and restore your system to full capacity.
If you hear a loud grinding or squealing noise coming from your air conditioner, it’s time to call the repairman. Noises such as these have several causes, including parts that aren’t properly lubricated and broken motor bearings. Many of these problems can be repaired, but if ignored for too long, they may force you to replace your system.
Lack of Airflow
A lack of airflow in your system is another warning sign that you need to schedule repairs. Like most of these red flags, limited airflow has several different causes, from a clogged air filter to leaks in your air duct. An experienced technician should be able to determine what is restricting airflow in your system and then fix the issue with ease.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Replacing an air conditioning system is unavoidable in some cases. Over time, your system will undergo a significant amount of wear and tear, and at a certain point, repairs will no longer be possible or cost-effective. If you’re trying to decide whether it’s time to invest in a new AC system, there are a few symptoms that can help with your decision.
Age of Your Unit
The age of your air conditioning unit plays a large part in whether you should schedule a repair or invest in a new system. If you’ve had your air conditioner for more than ten years, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. After this point, you may start seeing a variety of problems with your air conditioner, and while they can be fixed, they may occur over and over again.
An Air Conditioner That Doesn’t Stop Running
If your AC is constantly running, it may be time to buy a new unit, particularly if this is a constant problem. Typically, a stuck contactor is the culprit behind an air conditioner that runs constantly. This can cause big problems for your system because there is an increased risk for motor failure if your AC never shuts off.
A system that no longer runs efficiently no matter what you do will likely need to be replaced. For instance, if your system is simply unable to maintain the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat, a replacement is in order. An increase in energy bills may also mean you need a new system. Increased energy usage means that your system is working harder to attain the cool temperature that your thermostat is calling for.