The Top 3 Signs That Your Air Conditioning Unit Needs To Be Repaired

In the hottest months of the year, having a working air conditioner in your home is essential. If your AC unit is not prepared for the job, however, you'll need to reach out to a professional to make any necessary repairs. When you only feel warm air blowing out of the vents, it's clear that something is wrong, but can you recognize additional clues that your air conditioner might be breaking down? Here are 3 more important signs that the AC unit needs some maintenance.

1) Unexpected noises

While there are normal sounds that every air conditioner makes during its regular operation, overly loud or strange noises that suddenly start coming from the unit might indicate a bigger problem. If you notice a rattling or banging sound, there may be a part that has detached from its housing inside the unit. Listen for shrill squealing that won't go away - this could be a broken fan belt or deteriorated motor bearings. A buzzing noise could signal an electrical issue or coolant loss. Any continuous humming or hissing may be indicative of a leaky valve or a more serious problem with the compressor. If there is no cold air from the unit and a very deep humming noise, then the compressor may have seized. When you hear any of these sounds, turn off the unit and have an AC repair company take a look.

2) Fluid leaks 

You will probably see a bit of condensation on your AC unit from time to time, but do not ignore significant leaks or pools of water near your air conditioner. To determine if the presence of water is dangerous, you can check for a few common reasons that an air conditioner usually leaks. The most likely culprit is a clogged drain line. When air is unable to circulate properly through the system due to a buildup of debris, water can accumulate and cause a leak. Be sure to clean the drain line of any obstructions that might be blocking sufficient air movement. Another reason for fluid leakage is a dirty air filter. Change the filter every month or two to help with air flow and prevent leaks. Also, check that the drain overflow pan isn't damaged. Even a small crack or hole in the pan under the unit could lead to water leaking onto the ground. Always replace a broken pan when necessary. If you run through this checklist and still have problems with leaks around your AC unit, then it's time to call an HVAC professional for assistance.

3) Constant cycles

If you find that your air conditioner won't stop turning on and off despite what the thermostat shows, you probably need to investigate a bit further. This frequent cycling (also known as short cycling) occurs when the cooling cycle stops unexpectedly before starting back up again a few minutes later. If this pattern repeats constantly, consider getting some maintenance performed on your AC unit. There could be several reasons that the improper cycling is happening (compressor malfunction, electrical issues, frozen or dirty condenser coils), and an AC repair service can pinpoint the exact problem. Letting this issue go on for too long can result in higher monthly electrical bills and the faster breakdown of the unit itself. 

If you ever detect any of these problems, be sure to ask an AC repair contractor to check on the unit to ensure that the issue is resolved before significant damage is done.