On hot days, your air conditioning (AC) system keeps your home cool and comfortable and provides relief from blistering heat. However, like any other home appliance, AC units can endure wear and tear over time, resulting in damage. If you want to avoid having to spend money on more costly repairs or having to replace your system entirely, you should know the signs of system damage. Here are 14 signs your AC needs immediate repair.

1. Poor Airflow

One of the most obvious signs your AC needs repair or replacement is poor airflow. If the airflow from your vents is considerably weaker than normal, you certainly have a problem. Common causes of weak airflow include blocked ducts, clogged air filters, or malfunctioning blower motors. Failing to remedy these problems can result in additional wear and tear on your AC system.

2. Failure to Cool Properly

If your home feels warmer than usual even though your AC is running all the time, there is an underlying issue. You may have compressor problems, a refrigerant leak, or dirty evaporator coils. If your AC isn’t cooling, you must seek out professional assistance as soon as possible.

3. Strange Noises

Your AC system should make some noise when running, but it should not make loud or unusual sounds. Such sounds can signal something is wrong. Banging, rattling, squealing, or grinding noises indicate serious mechanical problems.

4. Unusual Odors

Unusual odors wafting from your vents can be a sign of AC problems. These smells are not only unpleasant and annoying, but they can suggest the presence of mold or mildew accumulating within the evaporator coil or ductwork. On the other hand, if you notice a burning odor, this indicates a major electrical issue. Choosing to ignore such odors can put your health at risk and cause additional damage to your AC system.

5. High Energy Bills

If you have noticed a recent spike in your electricity bill even though there hasn’t been a major increase in usage, this is cause for concern. Problems such as dirty filters, refrigerant leaks, or damaged components can cause your AC to work harder than it normally does and consume more energy. Regularly maintaining your AC can help you get the most out of it and keep your energy bills low.

6. Ice or Frost Accumulation

If you notice frost building up on your AC unit, trouble may be on the horizon. Ice accumulation on the refrigerant lines or evaporator coils can prevent airflow and cooling. Ice buildup may be caused by refrigerant leaks, low refrigerant levels, or restricted airflow. If you continue to run your AC with ice buildup, you can cause further damage and have to spend more to repair it. If the damage is significant enough, you will need to replace your equipment entirely.

7. High Humidity

Your AC system helps regulate the humidity levels within your home. If you notice the humidity in your home is unusually high even though your AC is running, your system may be malfunctioning. A malfunctioning unit may not be able to remove adequate moisture from the air, resulting in an uncomfortable and damp indoor atmosphere. High humidity levels may be caused by problems such as refrigerant leaks or clogged condensate drains.

8. Frequent Cycling

Frequent cycling occurs when your AC system turns on and off frequently, causing your home to cool ineffectively. Constant cycling is a common sign of underlying AC system issues, and if your AC turns on and off all the time, it can lead to significant wear and tear. Some of the most common causes of frequent cycling include thermostat problems, poor insulation, or refrigerant leaks.

9. Nonfunctional Thermostat

Your thermostat functions as the controller for your HVAC system. It communicates with the AC to let it know the amount of cold air it must produce. It also measures the surrounding air temperature to ensure it’s doing its job. If your AC unit only runs for brief periods before turning itself off or it won’t turn on altogether, it may be a sign your thermostat is no longer functioning properly. It can also be a sign your system is no longer working the way it should.

10. Visible Damage

At least once a month, you should inspect both your outdoor and indoor units. If you notice your outdoor unit is damaged in any manner, you will need to schedule some repairs. If your outdoor unit is damaged, there may also be interior unit damage. Even if your AC seems to work fine, you don’t want to ignore problems with the exterior unit and leave it at the mercy of the elements.

11. Moisture or Pooling Water

Occasionally, you should hear water inside your air conditioner. This is a normal sign of operation, and it signifies your system is removing moisture from the air, allowing you to feel cooler without having to turn your thermostat down low. However, all leaks are not the same. If you notice water pooling around your AC unit, you may want to schedule service. Pools of stagnant water can create the perfect environment for mildew and mold and damage your AC system and home.

12. Frequent Repairs

If you find yourself having to schedule frequent service calls to keep your AC running, it may need to be replaced. Quick, relatively cheap repairs may be able to keep your unit running for a brief time, but they can add up over time. Instead of spending thousands to constantly repair your system, you may want to replace it altogether. Most AC units have a lifespan of 10-15 years, and if yours is on the older side, you may need to consider installing a replacement. Installing a new AC unit will not only keep you comfortable, but it can keep your electricity bills in check as well.

13. Refrigerant Leaks

Moisture accumulating in or around your AC unit can be a problem. In serious cases, this can indicate a refrigerant leak. Coolant is poisonous and terrible for the environment, so you should contact an HVAC professional as soon as you notice a leak. In less urgent cases, it may be water leaking instead of refrigerant due to a blocked or broken tube that gets rid of condensation.

14. Uneven Cooling

If one side of your home or certain rooms are noticeably cooler than the rest of your home, this is due to uneven cooling, which is a common sign your AC needs repairs or replacement. Often, airflow in ducts can be uneven, and as time progresses, moisture can build up and cause mold and mildew growth. If you notice major temperature differences throughout your home, it may be time to get your ductwork or system examined.

Contact Us

Here at Belle Air Services in Playa Vista, CA, we offer several heating and cooling services, ranging from repair and maintenance to installation. We understand the importance of having a functioning AC unit, and we can help you repair or replace yours when necessary. Belle Air Services is a premier women-owned HVAC company that takes pride in providing professional services without cutting corners. Contact Belle Air Services today to schedule an appointment.

company icon