Air conditioning units will inevitably face some issues as time goes on. However, issues shouldn’t happen often or when least expected. If the installation was done correctly and you abide by the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, your AC system should function efficiently for many years. The following six issues are just a testament to what can arise when an air conditioning unit is not properly maintained or is reaching the end of its lifespan.

1. When Cold Setting Produce Warm Air

Your AC should produce cool air when you set the thermostat to a lower temperature. If it starts blowing warm air instead, there could be a few reasons why.

One of the most common causes of this problem is a dirty or clogged air filter. When filters are blocked or restricted, less air flows over the evaporating coil. This is the component that cools the air. Therefore, it won’t be able to absorb enough heat from the air passing through. Warm air will come out of your vents.

Another possible reason could be a malfunctioning thermostat. If your thermostat is not reading the temperature accurately or if it’s not properly calibrated, then it may not be signaling your AC unit to turn on the cooling mode. Consider hiring a professional to inspect and recalibrate your thermostat or advise you on a replacement.

A malfunctioning compressor may be the culprit. The compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant that cools down the air in your AC system. If it’s not functioning properly, then it will not be able to carry out its job effectively. This results in warm air being blown into your home.

On the same note, if the refrigerant itself is not at the correct level, then your AC will struggle to cool down the air. This could be due to a leak in the system, which requires immediate attention from a professional technician.

2. Musty Odors

The air coming out of your vents should be odorless. Musty odors often point to microbial growth in your A/C’s inner components. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system, often due to excessive humidity, a clogged drain line, or dirty coils.

Excessive humidity causes condensation to build up in your AC, which creates the perfect environment for microbiological growth. If this goes unresolved for a long time, the pathogens themselves will be blown into your living space.

A clogged drain line causes moisture to collect in your AC unit. Everything from dust and dirt to microorganisms can build up in the drain line, leading to musty odors. Dirty coils also have the same impact.

To deal with humidity issues, investing in a dehumidifier, improving ventilation, and repairing leaks can help. As for clogged drain lines and dirty coils, these require professional cleaning and maintenance.

3. Unusual Noises

The ideal AC sound level is about 40 dB, which is like a soft whisper or white noise. Anything above that should raise a red flag.

If you hear rattling or banging sounds, it could be due to loose parts in the condenser or fan motors. A high-pitched squeal may indicate a worn-out or faulty fan belt. You may also hear this sound when the refrigerant levels are low because your AC will be working harder to cool the air, which can put pressure on the fan belt.

Grinding noises suggest something is rubbing against another component. This could be an issue with a motor bearing, pistons, or even metal shavings inside the unit.

Lastly, a hissing or gurgling noise could be a sign of a refrigerant leak. This is a serious issue that requires immediate attention from a professional technician due to its toxic nature.

4. The AC Refuses to Turn On

If your AC is unresponsive, the first thing to check is the thermostat. Make sure it’s set to cool, and that the temperature setting is lower than the current room temperature. If everything checks out but the unit still won’t turn on, it could be due to a faulty compressor or an electrical issue.

If your circuit breaker has tripped, it could be a sign of an electrical overload. In this case, you should turn off the AC and contact a professional to reset the breaker. They will also check the wires to see if there are any loose connections or damage.

5. Leaking AC

Water pooling beneath your AC unit is a clear sign that something is wrong. The most common reasons for leaking AC units include clogged condensate drain lines, frozen evaporator coils, or a damaged condenser pump.

A clogged drain line can cause water to back up and overflow onto the floor. This often occurs when dirt, dust, and debris build up in the drain line. Frozen evaporator coils result from low refrigerant levels or restricted airflow due to dirty air filters.

The job of your condenser pump is to pump excess water away from your home. If it’s damaged or not working properly, water will leak and pool around the AC unit.

6. Ice on the Outdoor AC Unit

Another red flag is ice buildup on your outdoor AC unit. This could be a sign of poor airflow due to clogged air filters or blocked vents. It can also indicate low refrigerant levels, which may require a professional to recharge the system.

Solution: Regular Maintenance

To prevent these common AC issues, it’s crucial to have regular maintenance performed on your unit. Consider scheduling a yearly check-up with a professional HVAC technician.

A technician will inspect your entire AC system, including indoor and outdoor units. They will look at relevant components, like ductwork, to identify any signs of wear, tear, or damage. Then, they’ll examine and replace air filters, clean and clear condensate drain lines, and check refrigerant levels.

If it’s time to replace your thermostat or condenser fan motor, a technician will suggest that as well. It’s common to find parts that are past their prime during an inspection, and replacing them may help avoid a costly breakdown later on.

The Benefits

Routine maintenance allows you to enjoy the utmost level of comfort your AC was designed to provide. When everything is working as it should, your home will stay at a consistent, optimal temperature with fresh air flowing freely. This process will also help extend the lifespan of your AC system. There won’t be a part that will strain to function because of another failing component. This puts less stress on the system, which translates to fewer repairs and a longer lifespan for your AC unit.

Scheduled maintenance can save you money on energy bills by ensuring efficient operation. Whenever there’s an issue with an AC, a spike in energy bills is often the first symptom. By keeping your unit clean and well-maintained, you’ll avoid energy loss and higher bills.

Regular AC maintenance will help keep your warranty valid. Most manufacturers require proof of maintenance to honor the warranty. By neglecting this responsibility, you could be voiding your warranty and risking expensive repairs or replacements.

Contact Green Dot Heating & Air Today for All Your AC Needs

If you live in Wilmington or the surrounding area, call Green Dot Heating & Air today to service, repair, or replace broken components of your AC system. We also offer comprehensive air cleaning services for your entire house, can upgrade traditional air conditioning systems to ductless mini splits, and install advanced smart thermostats. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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