3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Need Repairs

Your air conditioner is essential for keeping your home livable and comfortable during the summer. Knowing how to spot signs of air conditioner problems can save you from an unexpected breakdown on a hot day. Here are three signs that you should have your air conditioner inspected by a professional technician.

Constant Cycling On and Off

Your air conditioner is designed to run as long as the temperature inside your home is above the temperature that is set on your thermostat. An air conditioner that cycles on and off no matter how you set the thermostat will never cool your home to a comfortable temperature. This problem is known as short cycling, and it is a sure sign that your HVAC system needs to be inspected.

One of the most common causes of short cycling is a faulty thermostat. Your thermostat judges how close your air conditioner is to achieving the correct indoor temperature by using a sensor that monitors the air around it. If this sensor is no longer reading correctly, the system will not be able to judge how long it should run and will cycle continuously.

Short cycling can also be caused by very low refrigerant levels. If your air conditioner isn't circulating enough refrigerant to cool the system properly, it will overheat and shut off automatically as a safety measure. A technician can repair this problem by recharging the refrigerant.

Unusual Noise During Operation

While all air conditioners make some noise during operation, unusual noises are indicators that there is a mechanical problem inside the unit. Squealing is often a sign that a belt has slipped, while grinding can signal broken bearings or a lack of lubrication on moving parts.

Air From Vent Registers Isn't Cold

Even if your air conditioner is producing the same amount of air as it always has, it will not do its job effectively if the air isn't as cool as it used to be or isn't cool at all. Inadequate cooling from your air conditioner can be caused by several problems.

If you have a central HVAC system, one of the first place you should check is above your indoor air handler. The evaporator coils are often located inside a compartment above the furnace in an A-frame configuration. If you see excessive corrosion or dust on these coils, turn your system off and clean them. Dirty evaporator coils will not be able to cool the air that passes over them effectively.

If your evaporator coils are clean or cleaning them doesn't solve the problem, it is likely that your air conditioner is low on refrigerant. Have the refrigerant charged by a technician and ask the technician to check for airflow blockages and other problems that can prevent your system from cooling correctly.