Air conditioners are built to run smoothly, quietly, and efficiently. However, sometimes for whatever reason – lack of maintenance, above normal usage, age, etc., they can start to run inefficiently. Not only does this make your indoor air quality less than desired, and sometimes downright miserable, but it may also increase energy bills or shorten your unit’s life span if not taken care of. With this in mind, what are some of the signs that your air conditioner may not be operating efficiently?
Noisy AC Operation
Well-maintained and properly functioning air conditioners are designed to run quietly and efficiently. Therefore, if your AC is noisy during operation it is a good indicator that something may be wrong. In some cases, depending on the noise, there may simply be leaves or debris somewhere in your system. This can be an easy fix, by simply removing the debris if it is something you can visibly see. However, there also may be something loose or causing problems inside the unit. In this situation, for safety and warranty reasons, you should call a trained air conditioning professional to inspect the problem.
One serious thing that may be wrong if your air conditioning unit is making more noise than usual, is a fan belt problem. Often, excess noise can be an indicator of a worn out or damaged fan belt, which can compromise your system’s efficiency. This is a problem that requires a heating and cooling professional to remedy.
Decline in Air Flow
If you notice a significant decline in the airflow of your AC system, the first thing you want to check is your air filter. If your air filter is dirty and heavily clogged, this will reduce the airflow in your home and put unnecessary strain on your entire system. It may cause airflow to be reduced, thus your home will not cool efficiently and the additional strain on your HVAC system can cause even more problems. Over time, not only does this increase your energy bill, but it also shortens the life of your air conditioning system and causes a need for more frequent repairs.
A rule of thumb is to replace your air filters every 1 – 3 months depending on use and the type of filters you use; some with higher MERV ratings can last longer, while providing better filtering. If you have pets or a lot of dust that comes into your home from having a larger family or environmental circumstances, you need to change them more frequently.
Other causes of weak airflow may also be a damaged blower motor, dirty coils, or other less obvious issues. These types of problems are not as easily detected or remedied by most homeowners without help from a heating and cooling contractor. If you replace your air filter and make sure that nothing is blocking your register, yet still continue having an airflow problem, you should call an air conditioning company to conduct a diagnostic check of your system.
Walking into a warm, humid home when your AC is activated and running, is one of the most easily detectable signs that your air conditioner is not working properly. If you can hear your central air conditioner running, but it is not keeping your home cooled properly, there may be a serious problem.
First, take a few moments to make sure nothing is blocking or limiting air flow anywhere in or around your system. This includes the air filters, registers, and the compressor. If all filters are clean, and nothing is blocking any part of your AC system, your system may simply be low on coolant. This is a relatively easy fix for a trained professional. However, there are a number of other potential causes that aren’t so simple to repair. For example, some air conditioning systems can become rusted and corroded over time or have failing components from years of high usage and non-maintenance. These types of possible problems will take a trained air conditioning technician to diagnose and fix.
New Berlin Heating & Air Conditioning is a family-owned HVAC company that has been serving Southeastern Wisconsin for over 30 years. Are technicians are NATE Certified to ensure you get the best possible workmanship and service. If you ever have any need for AC repair in Brookfield WI or any surrounding city, give us a call.