Tag Archive for: AC Repair

6 Signs Your AC Needs to Be Serviced

On a sweltering hot day, it’s blissful to come in from the heat outside and relax in the cool temperature of your air-conditioned home. But, before summer begins, you’ll want to ensure that your AC unit is operating properly. The last thing you want is the air conditioning cutting out during a heat wave and finding local AC services too busy to attend. So, examine these six signs your AC needs to be serviced and head off problems.

1. Not Blowing Any Air

There may be a blockage if you have central AC and cannot feel air coming through the vents. You should check that all the vents are open and that airflow isn’t blocked by furniture or other objects.

If your air conditioning is running, but there’s no air blowing, mechanical failure may be the cause. For example, the blower belt mechanism may have broken, or there could be a fault in the motor. All mechanical repairs should be done by qualified AC technicians.

2. Blowing Hot Instead of Cold

Another strong sign your AC needs servicing is if the equipment blows hot air instead of cold. The hot air can happen for several reasons; a compressor may be damaged, the refrigerant level may be too low, or condenser coils may be dirty and blocked. Condenser coils can be cleaned easily enough, and refrigerant levels topped up without too much effort, but the compressor is different.

The compressor forces the refrigerant through the AC system, moves air, and keeps all the components running. If the compressor stops working, the entire system will come to a halt. Regular preventive maintenance is the best way to stop problems from occurring. Unfortunately, if the compressor has developed a fault, this is likely to be a costly repair or replacement.

3. Leaks are Another Sign Your AC Needs Servicing

Refrigerant is toxic, and leaks are dangerous. Over time, natural wear and tear processes can corrode AC coils, and other components will wear out. Holes, cracks, and loose joints let refrigerant leak out of the system. Leaks will reduce the refrigerant level, and the AC system cannot keep the air temperature at the right level. As a result, a complete system breakdown can occur.

Another source of an AC leak is clogged drain lines. When this happens, moisture cannot drain to the outside, backs up, and will cause a leak inside the home. Rusty or damaged drain pans and broken condensate pumps can also cause leaks inside the house.

4. Nasty Odors from Your AC Are a Good Reason to Call for AC Services

Unpleasant smells produced by your air conditioning system are always a cause for concern. An acrid, burning odor can indicate a serious overheating fault that could lead to a fire and permanent damage. Turn off the system and call for expert assistance straight away as this is a dangerous situation.

The whiff of musty and stale air may point to high dust levels in the system or mold and bacteria growing within the ducts. These nasty particles can detach and blow through the air conditioning system, lowering air quality and causing health issues. A thorough professional inspection and cleaning should be organized as soon as you know of the problem.

5. Wrong Temperature Levels

If indoor temperature levels are too high, low, or uneven throughout the home, there could be several causes. The thermostat may have malfunctioned, air filters may be dirty and clogged, the compressor may be damaged, or a refrigerant leak may have happened.

Changing air filters is easy enough for most homeowners, but fixing refrigerant leaks or the thermostat are tasks for qualified technicians.

6. Loud Noises

Another sign your AC needs servicing is clearly audible noise. Hissing and bubbling sounds can indicate a leak of refrigerant. Banging or clanking noises can happen if a part has come loose. Broken blower belts and faulty blower motors can cause high distinct squealing sounds. A rattling noise often accompanies compressor problems.

A well-maintained and properly operating air conditioner should only make a gentle hum. Any suddenly occurring, distinctive noises can indicate a severe problem is occurring. Switching off the system and booking an immediate service call is best.

Local Air Conditioning Experts in Northern Virginia

AC systems are complex equipment with intricate components and numerous moving parts. The potential for problems is therefore relatively high, particularly if regular maintenance doesn’t happen. Get in touch with Briggs HVAC for professional AC services, including all types of repairs and maintenance. HVAC maintenance plans will keep your equipment in peak condition and improve lifespan.

Determining When It Is Time To Replace Your A/C Unit

Your air conditioner is often an important, unsung hero during the summer season. It’s easy to forget, when you’re inside during the day, living your life, or sleeping comfortably at night, that the AC is working away in the background, keeping you and your family comfortable.

However, your air conditioner, like every other part of your home, is a fallible piece of equipment that may, one day, outlive its usefulness. When that happens, it’s time to retire it, and replace your AC with a new unit. But when will you know that that day has finally arrived? Keep an eye out for these signs.

You Require Frequently Repairs

During the optimal operational lifespan of an AC, there’s no reason to replace it when a repair job would be the more cost-effective option and add more years of reliable operation to your unit. However, while an occasional, rare repair to address an issue is acceptable, calling an HVAC expert regularly to address a new problem is not.

Frequent breakdowns are a sign that an AC unit is no longer able to keep up with the performance that is required of it. If you’re finding that your AC is demanding more and more attention from something else going wrong, it’s better to replace your AC with a new unit that will provide many years of reliable operation.

Your AC Is Old

You may have lived in your home an entire generation, raising a family, or you may find yourself having just purchased a home where something similar took place. In either case, one thing you should look at is the age of the AC unit there. Beyond a certain point, old technology should be replaced with a more efficient solution, or it should be replaced before the age starts to show and you end up dealing with more repairs.

In general, an air conditioner that is 10-15 years old should be replaced with a newer model. Over a decade of reliable operation means that such a unit is already behind newer models in terms of efficiency. If the AC is even older than that—some homes have been using the same unit for 20-30 years!—it’s definitely time to upgrade to a modern replacement.

Your Bills Are Going Up

An AC unit uses electricity to power itself, so you will usually see a bump in your electrical bill during the summer months as you rely on the AC more. But that increase should be nominal. What you shouldn’t see, is a sizable increase in your bills, especially if you aren’t using it any more than previous years.

A chronic increase in your electrical bills due to AC usage can mean only one thing; the efficiency is going down, and your AC is struggling to keep the home at the same temperature and is drawing on more resources to do so. A drop in efficiency may also coincide with a chronic repair problem, so this would be a good time to think about upgrading. Stop paying more on your cooling bills than you have to.

Your Square Footage Changed

Your AC was installed to provide you with the most efficient cooling for your home after careful measurement of the square footage of that space. Homes of different sizes require different AC capacities to properly cool the entire structure. It’s always important to fit an AC unit to the approximate size of the home for the sake of efficiency.

This means that if you’ve undertaken a major renovation, such as adding an addition to your home, or something even more drastic like adding a second floor, the AC you currently have will not be up to the task. If you’ve expanded the size of your home, you’ll need to reinforce the cooling with an entirely new AC unit to tackle the increased space. Alternatively, you may consider additional units, such as a window or ductless unit if you’re reclaiming space like an attic, where you may not want to build in extra ventilation ducts to get HVAC processed air into the new area.

If you’re in a situation where you think it may be time to replace your AC with a modern, more energy-efficient unit, contact us today. We’re ready to look at your current AC and home configuration and determine what kind of upgrade would best meet your needs.