Austin is one of the hottest cities in the U.S., with mid-summer highs regularly reaching temperatures near 100 degrees.
If you’re facing heat like this, you need an air conditioner you can count on. Being without it in this climate could make your life miserable.
The good news is that spotting the signs of a failing air conditioner can help prevent an unfortunate breakdown. AC repair in Austin will help you keep your cool.
Read on to learn the top five signs your air conditioner requires maintenance.
1. Expensive Energy Bills
Your HVAC system makes up the bulk of your home’s energy bill. For many homeowners, it represents nearly half of the money they spend on electricity.
You likely have a carefully constructed budget, so it should be relatively easy to see if your AC unit is causing increased energy bills.
An air conditioner in need of service won’t work as efficiently as one in prime working condition and leads to higher energy bills. A few issues might be the cause of this.
Clogged Air Filter
The air from your AC unit passes through a filter before it makes its way around your home. If yours is dirty, it can obstruct the airflow and force your air conditioner to work harder.
Your AC relies on several internal components to keep the cool air flowing. The most important parts to consider are the condenser and the compressor.
If one of these pieces is failing, your system experiences a dramatic drop in efficiency.
Leaks in Ductwork
Your HVAC system makes use of a series of ducts to dispense air throughout your home. Over time, these ducts can develop leaks and reduce the effectiveness of your air conditioner.
Your home will take longer to reach the temperature you set your thermostat to, and that extra running time can cause your energy bills to balloon.
2. Unusual Sounds
You can almost always hear your air conditioner when it’s running, and you should be familiar with its typical sound. If your AC unit needs attention, you may hear a few different sounds that are far from normal.
Keep an eye out for a few of these problematic noises. They’re almost always a sign that you should contact professional HVAC repair services.
If you hear a clicking sound, check to see if it’s coming from the inside or outside AC unit.
If it’s coming from the inside unit, you may have something caught in your unit’s fan. You’ll need to have a technician take a look at the fan and remove any debris that could be in the way.
A clicking sound coming from the outside unit requires immediate action. It indicates issues with your unit’s electrical consumption.
A squealing sound coming from your air conditioner’s indoor component usually indicates an issue with the fan belt. It could be damaged, aging, or failing.
You might only hear this sound intermittently, but you’ll need to get it checked right away. If your fan belt breaks, your air conditioner won’t be able to work at all.
This might be the most troublesome sound to hear coming from an AC unit. It could indicate pressure building up within your compressor, which can be very dangerous. Fortunately, most modern units will have a safety shut-off switch that shuts down the unit.
Hissing can also indicate a refrigerant leak. These leaks can occur in refrigerant lines or internal valves.
No matter what’s causing it, hissing is almost always the sign of a serious problem. You should shut your air conditioner off and call for professional help if you hear it.
3. High Humidity
Modern air conditioning units do more than keep you cool. They can also lower the level of humidity in your home. It’s one of the many reasons that having a functional air conditioner is so valuable during a Texas summer.
Your system’s evaporator coil allows it to dehumidify the air. When humid air comes in contact with the coil, the moisture in the air condenses on it. The liquid then drains out of your home.
If you notice a higher level of humidity in your house, your air conditioner unit isn’t doing its job as a dehumidifier. You’ll need to reach out to a professional to diagnose the issue.
4. Lack of Air Circulation
Cooled air from an AC unit usually flows steadily, so noticing little to no air coming out of your vents should be cause for alarm. Your air conditioning won’t be able to efficiently cool your home when the air is flowing like this.
Compressor issues, obstructed air ducts, and dirty filters can all contribute to this problem. Homeowners shouldn’t attempt to diagnose and fix the issue on their own, but a professional will be able to get the air flowing properly again.
5. Foul Odors
The air coming out of your air conditioning unit shouldn’t have a smell, and you might notice unpleasant odors if yours needs maintenance.
Be on the lookout for two unique scents.
The first is a musty smell. This is usually due to mold or mildew accumulating in your ducts because your unit isn’t properly regulating your home’s humidity levels. You’ll want to have this checked out immediately as mold and mildew can pose dangers to your health.
The second smell to look out for is a burning scent. You’ll notice this when your blower motor overheats due to a clogged filter.
Trusted AC Repair in Austin
You rely on your air conditioner to keep you comfortable. It cools your home and helps remove humidity from the air.
High energy bills, odd sounds, and smells, and a lack of circulation are all common signs that your AC needs some attention.
Looking for the best AC repair in Austin? Schneider Mechanical can tackle all of your air conditioner service needs. Our team of trained experts will diagnose and handle any problem. We even offer 24-hour emergency HVAC services.
Reach out to our team to schedule a service appointment today.