3 Signs That You May Need AC Repair Before Summer Begins
Summertime is drawing near, which can only mean two things – hotter days and shorter nights. Even though the heat hasn’t fully arrived, most homeowners are already running their air conditioners as things gradually warm up. It’s great to have this kind of “trial run” before the summer gets underway because it allows any hidden problems with the AC to manifest themselves ahead of time. After all, no one wants their AC to break down in the middle of the hottest day of the year.
So for those who haven’t yet tackled their spring maintenance, here are a few signs of AC trouble to keep an eye out for.
Warm Air or Weak Air Flow
The first sign that the AC needs some attention is when it’s blowing warm or very little air. More often than not, this is due to ice forming on the evaporator coils. The job of the evaporator coils is to absorb heat energy from the indoor air, effectively cooling it. When ice forms on the coils, they can no longer capture heat properly, and the ice itself can obstruct the flow of air through the unit.
The root cause can be a dirty evaporator coil or air filter, among other things, but it’s usually due to a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant flows through the coils and picks up the heat energy to transfer it to the condenser coils in the outdoor unit. It is a dangerous chemical, so a leak is bad news for more than one reason.
The Unit Is Leaking
The next sign of a problem is if the unit is dripping or leaking fluid. If this is happening, it’s probably not the refrigerant itself that’s dripping, as it will typically leak in vapor form and produce a sweet-ish odor that resembles chloroform. Usually, any liquid leaking from the unit is just water. It may be coming from any ice that’s formed on the evaporator coils (which does tend to indicate a refrigerant leak) or from a clogged or cracked condensate drain line or drain pan. However, if a refrigerant leak is suspected, it’s best to exercise caution and call a professional immediately.
Strange or Unusual Noises
The third indicator of a malfunctioning AC is bizarre noises coming from either the indoor or outdoor unit (or the window unit). A high-pitched squealing usually indicates a worn or dry fan bearing or belt. Clanging or banging is most often caused by a loose or broken part jostling around inside the unit. Excessive vibration could mean that the blower fan is loose or off-balance. Loud buzzing may point to a dirty condenser coil or a failing compressor. A whistling or hissing sound can be caused by a refrigerant leak.
In general, if the unit makes any sounds that are out of the ordinary, it’s a good idea to call in a pro to take a look at it. It may be nothing that a little routine maintenance can’t fix!
About Alliance Expert Services
Alliance Expert Services has been happily handling the HVAC and electrical needs of Oklahoma City, OK since 1990. Their licensed and background-checked technicians show up on time, treat every customer with courtesy and respect, and leave every home better than they found it. Alliance offers up-front pricing, financing, rewarding membership plans, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call now for AC repair services!