7 Signs Your AC Needs Professional Repair

It’s normal for your energy bills to go up during the summer, but if you notice sudden, significant increases, it’s time for an inspection. Squealing or scraping noises could mean your unit needs better lubrication. A pungent smell or musty smell indicates mold growing inside the system. 

Unusual Noises

While some clicking is normal as your air conditioner turns on and off, loud clinking or screeching sounds are not, these can indicate a broken compressor, fan belt, or other serious problem that requires professional AC repairs. A humming sound is also an indication that there is a problem with your AC unit. This can be due to a damaged isolation footing, loose wires, or a branch or object stuck in the fan blades.

Another sign you need an AC repair is a sudden increase in energy bills without a good reason, like extra usage. A knowledgeable area HVAC technician can help you find the cause. 

Unusual Temperatures

While a little increase in your energy bills is normal, if you notice a large spike without an explanation, it could indicate that your AC system is not working properly. This may be due to an issue with the compressor or ductwork and needs professional attention as soon as possible. If you hear banging, grating, or other noises that don’t normally occur, this indicates that parts of the unit are loose and need to be tightened. Loose components can cause serious damage if not addressed as quickly as possible. Unusual odors can also indicate a problem with your AC system. If you smell a musty or burning odor, mold or mildew likely has formed inside and needs to be professionally cleaned as soon as possible.

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High Energy Bills

A sudden spike in your energy bills indicates that your AC is overworking to keep up. This can be due to some reasons, including a thermostat switch that’s not working or leaks in your ductwork.

A sudden increase in your energy bills could also indicate that your unit is approaching the end of its life. If it’s leaking water, especially any amount of standing water, or emitting foul odors, it may need to be replaced before you experience further damage to your home. A professional can help you determine the best way forward.

High Indoor Humidity

If your AC needs to be properly removing humidity, you might notice areas of your home feeling warm or damp. This can be a sign that your air ducts need to be cleaned or you need more insulation in your attic.

Warm air from your vents indicates that your system is low on refrigerant or your compressor is failing. Having a professional inspect your unit can fix the problem before it worsens.

Unusual noises such as banging or screeching indicate that your unit needs repairs. A squealing sound, in particular, can indicate that the fan belt needs lubrication. Pooling water around your outdoor unit is another bad sign and could mean a refrigerant leak.

Leaky Ductwork

The ductwork of your home distributes conditioned air throughout the building. If your ducts have leaks, they can pull in unwanted air from attics, crawl spaces, and other locations where you might store hazardous chemicals or other materials. Cool or warm air from your vents indicates weak airflow, resulting in hot spots and uncomfortable temperatures. It can also mean your system is low on refrigerant, a problem that an AC technician must address immediately. You can inspect ducts for leaks by turning the system on and running your hand along them, particularly near joints. You can also use a tool that releases smoke to locate leaks easily.

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Low Refrigerant Levels

If you notice that your air conditioner isn’t blowing cool air or has a musty smell, you may have low refrigerant levels. This can cause your system to work harder than usual, which increases energy bills. It also means contacting a professional to recharge your AC and fix refrigerant leaks.

Refrigerant is the chemical that helps your air conditioner cool your home’s air. If you have low refrigerant, your system must work much harder than normal to meet the thermostat’s setting. Low refrigerant can also lead to ice forming on the evaporator coil. You should turn off your air conditioner if you see this.

Poor Airflow

If cool air isn’t blowing from your vents or seems weak or warm, this is a clear sign that your system needs professional attention. This could be due to a blocked airflow, dirty filters, or leaking ductwork. Unexplained or unusual odors from your AC are another warning sign that it needs repair. These smells can indicate mold or mildew in the unit or ductwork, burning wires, and more. Lastly, any loud or unusual sounds from your AC are a sure sign that it needs to be repaired. Sounds like banging, screeching, or clinking may mean that parts are loose and need to be tightened. This is something that only an experienced technician can diagnose and fix.