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Know the Signs of a Struggling Cooling System

top-view-of-air-conditioning-outdoor-unitSummer is progressing right along, and you’ve likely been using your air conditioner on a daily basis as a result. The last thing you need, then, is a sudden and unexpected breakdown and repair call when temperatures are at their highest.

The good news here is that most cooling system repair needs give out signs and symptoms well before the air conditioner actually breaks down. While you shouldn’t attempt to formally diagnose or even repair a faulty air conditioner yourself since they include potentially harmful components such as refrigerant—which requires formal training and licensing to safely handle—you can still spot these signs that you’re in need of AC repairs. So, what are the most common indicators?

Low Airflow

Air that isn’t moving through the vents with the speed you expect can be a big problem. It usually means that cold air is trapped within the system, which can cause the coils to freeze over and create subsequent problems. Even if this doesn’t happen, the reduced airflow means your system will have to work harder than it should in order to do its job, increasing strain on the system as well as your energy bills.

Reduced Cooling Levels

Factors like low refrigerant, overheating components, or breaches in the ductwork are all things that can reduce your system’s ability to cool the air. You can detect this simply by noting if the air coming from your vents is warmer than you’d expect. Naturally, your instinct when you feel warm air is to turn your thermostat down lower—but you need to find the source of the problem as turning down the thermostat will only make your AC run longer and work harder, wasting precious energy.

Short-Cycling

This is a process where the air conditioning system turns on and shuts off in rapid succession. Cooling systems (and heating systems, for that matter) use the most energy turning on and turning off, versus simply running. You want your HVAC system to run for at least 15 minutes at a time, otherwise it’s likely a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Odd Noises

This can include anything outside of the normal sounds you hear coming from your air conditioner—things like humming, moaning, buzzing, or clanging. You might notice these sounds coincide with the starting and stopping of the air conditioning system.

Higher Than Normal Energy Bills

Sometimes, an air conditioner problem won’t show any visible or audible signs, but will translate into excess energy consumption. In these cases, you’ll probably notice the problem by seeing an unexpected spike in your monthly energy bills—particularly if you haven’t run your air conditioner any more this year than you did the same time last year.

On that note, it’s also a good idea to compare what you’re paying to what your neighbors in similar home setups are paying. While everyone’s cooling preferences are different, your bills shouldn’t be that far off.

For over a century, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. has been the preferred choice for homeowners looking for reliable air conditioning repair in Union, NJ. Contact us today!

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