8 Signs That You Need a New Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner isn’t working properly it can affect almost every element of your home life. You won’t sleep well, you’ll constantly feel uncomfortable, and even activities that are meant to be relaxing like watching TV or surfing the web will be sweaty and exhausting. There are a number of home services specializing in HVAC repair around Los Angeles and Burbank that can help fix a damaged air conditioner, but it’s important for you to be able to describe the problem to a repair person over the phone so they know what to expect. Read on to learn about the eight signs that may mean your air conditioner needs to be repaired.

No Cold Air

The most obvious sign that your air conditioner is not working correctly is that it isn’t producing any cold air. This could be the result of a number of different problems such as a clogged filter, a malfunction in the compressor, or insufficient levels of refrigerant. If a quick fix like replacing the filter doesn’t help you should probably contact a professional, since fiddling around with the inner workings may expose you to dangerous chemicals found in the unit’s refrigerant.

Limited Airflow

Limited airflow is another sign that your air conditioning unit may need to be repaired or replaced. If you can feel cold air coming out of the unit at an unusually weak strength, it’s likely a problem with the vents, ducts, compressor or fan. Most repair companies can perform an airflow test that will help get to the root of the problem before your system conks out completely. It may be as simple as cleaning off the fan blades or unclogging the vents.

Odd Smells

Your air conditioner is designed to pump out cool, clean-smelling air, so if you start to notice an odd or unpleasant smell emanating from the vents there’s a good possibility that something is wrong. The most common smell is one like musty socks, which usually means that there’s a buildup of mold, mildew or bacteria in your unit. If your unit smells like rotten eggs, it may mean that a small animal has died in your system. A skunk-like smell could mean that your air conditioner has a gas leak, which is potentially very dangerous. If you think this might be the case, evacuate your residence and call a professional HVAC services company in the Los Angeles or Burbank area immediately.

Unusual Noises

If you’ve noticed that your air conditioner has begun making unusual noises like grinding, rattling, clunking, or squealing, it’s likely a sign that there is a problem with the unit’s internal components. There are a number of possible culprits; the indoor blower could be unbalanced, the compressor could have come loose, or the thermostat may have failed, to name just a few. When you call your local home services repair company in Los Angeles or Burbank, try your best to accurately describe the sound that your unit is making. Imitating a broken air conditioner may make you feel a bit silly, but it also could help them pinpoint the problem. Don’t be embarrassed; they’ve probably heard much worse.

Excess Moisture

While a bit of moisture around your air conditioning unit is normal, anything more than minor condensation may be cause for concern. If you notice a large pool of liquid around the base of your air conditioner, it might be the result of a refrigerant leak. As mentioned above, the chemicals in refrigerant pose a potential health risk to you and your family, so if you think your unit might be leaking you should evacuate your house and call a professional repair person immediately.

Old Unit

The typical lifespan of an air conditioning unit is approximately 10-15 years, so if you’ve had yours for any longer than that there’s a good chance that it may be on its last legs. Older units tend to be less energy-efficient than new models, so even if you think your air conditioner is still working fine it’s possible that replacing it will save you a significant amount of money on your monthly utility bills. Besides, if you’ve had your air conditioner for more than 15 years, you can feel good about the fact that you’ve definitely got your money’s worth.

Higher than Normal Utility Bills

Speaking of utility bills, if you’ve noticed that yours has been higher than usual lately then it may be the result of a damaged or faulty air conditioning unit. An air conditioner that is in need of repair will have to work harder than normal and use more energy to adequately cool your house, and that extra effort means more money out of your pocket each month. Even though shelling out the money for an entirely new unit may appear to cost more at first glance, when you add up the total savings over the course of a new air conditioner’s decade-plus lifespan, it will very likely end up being cheaper in the long run.

Frequent Need for Repairs

Finally, if you find yourself constantly having your air conditioner repaired for any of the problems listed above, it’s almost certainly a sign that your unit is more trouble than it’s worth. With all the costs associated with bringing someone in to repair your unit, it may be smarter to just bite the bullet and spring for a new model. As we’ve already mentioned, home cooling technology continues to become more advanced and efficient every year. By ditching your old air conditioner in favor of one that’s greener and more environmentally sustainable, you’ll help to protect both the environment and your own bank account.

Remember that it’s always safer to call in a professional to look at your air conditioning unit than it is to attempt fixing it yourself. Exposing yourself to harmful chemicals and electric shocks isn’t worth it. The sooner you call a repair person, the sooner you’ll be able to beat the heat.