When the summer sun is blazing overhead, sometimes there's only one way to beat the heat.
Returning home to a cool, temperature-controlled atmosphere is a sweet relief.
That is, until your machine starts rattling, releases warm air, or shuts down entirely.
Only 42 percent of U.S. homeowners call a professional for routine maintenance on their air conditioning systems. 40 percent of those air conditioners experience a longer lifespan because of it.
You might not even realize that your AC needs a checkup. Keep a lookout for these eight signs you need HVAC repair. That way, you can get your unit serviced before those little problems are too big to fix.
Then, you're extending the lifespan of your unit while saving energy and money, too!
1. Energy Bill Boost
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, air conditioners use about 6 percent of all the electricity produced in the United States.
That's an annual cost of $29 billion to homeowners. Yikes.
Meanwhile, switching to an energy-efficient AC unit could reduce energy use by 20 to 50 percent.
If you're trying to determine if you need HVAC repair, take a look at your energy bill. Has the amount due gone up in the past few months? Your AC unit might be working overtime to function properly.
Your air conditioning unit is one of the largest energy consumers in your home. Compare what you're paying this year to what you paid the same time last year. A spike could indicate you need your AC looked over.
It's also possible that your machine is older and isn't equipped with energy-efficient functionality. ENERGY STAR qualified products save both the environment and your energy bill each month.
In fact, homes with these energy efficient products follow guidelines set by the US. Environmental Protection Agency.
If all air conditioners in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, cost savings would increase to $350 million a year. That would also prevent more than six billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
That means they're protecting the environment by preventing harmful carbon pollution and reducing greenhouse gases. They also optimize equipment performance. That way, you're paying for the energy you use.
2. Needs Repairs (A Lot)
Are you constantly requiring HVAC repair, even though you just got it fixed?
Try to remember how many times you've called for an HVAC technician in the past few years. The cost of repairs shouldn't feel like monthly payments.
Routine AC checkups can help extend the lifespan of your unit. Without them, however, smaller issues might build up into bigger ones.
If your AC isn't the problem, your thermostat might be the issue instead. Is your home temperature a little (or a lot) off, compared to what displays on the thermostat?
A professional HVAC repair company can help remedy these issues. You can also speak to them about scheduling an annual checkup for your unit. That way, you can avoid these constant issues from popping up.
3. AC Loses Its Cool
The mid-July sun is blazing overhead, you step inside to escape the heat, and somehow it's even hotter inside.
This occurs when the air circulating through your vents can't chill out. Instead, your system starts working overtime to try and achieve the temperature you set it to.
Unfortunately, this leads to that boost in your energy bill we mentioned earlier.
A number of issues can cause this problem, including:
- Low refrigerant
- Leaking refrigerant
- Condenser issues
- Duct leakage
Regular checkups from your friendly HVAC repair team can help you catch these issues ahead of time. That way, your AC unit won't lose its cool.
Before calling for help, check your thermostat. It's possible the system isn't set to cooling mode. Also, make sure it's set lower than your home's current temperature.
You might experience insufficient airflow, too. This occurs when a blockage prevents air from moving through the ductwork. The main cause is often a clogged air filter or broken motor.
Other reasons for poor airflow include:
- Dirty coils
- Low refrigerant levels
- An oversized or old unit
- Thermostat issues
- A sluggish fan
However, the problem might be bigger. Make sure to call a professional team instead of trying a complicated DIY fix on your own.
Here are the 10 main causes of airflow issues in HVAC systems. Your professional HVAC repair team can check through the items on this list during their checkup.
4. Squeaky & Smelly
Are you smelling foul odors throughout your home? If you can't determine where they're coming from, the source could be your HVAC system.
The longer you go without HVAC repair, the worse that smell could become.
Moldy smells indicate water leaks and could cause poor air quality. If it smells more like gasoline, it's a bigger issue. Either way, your HVAC unit won't operate the way it's supposed to.
These smells might also indicate bacteria growth on the air conditioner coil.
Your HVAC unit should also operate at an appropriate noise level. You might notice clunking, clanking, or grinding, which indicate something's wrong with the system. Other sounds include:
- High-pitched whistling (which indicate clogged filters or blocked ducts)
- Rattling (indicates broken hardware)
- Metal clanging (indicates damaged fan blades)
- Loud pops (indicates clogged air filters)
- Buzzing or humming (indicate a failing fan motor or capacitor)
Don't ignore these sounds and smells. The longer you wait, the more likely the HVAC repair will become more complicated (and costly).
Schedule an appointment with an HVAC repair team to determine the cause of these issues.
5. Allergy Flare-Ups
Are you sneezing more often at home? Bless you!
An abundance of contaminants in the air or lack of humidity can cause these allergy flare-ups. Both also trigger allergic reactions. Instead of purchasing an air purifier or humidifier, let's take a look at your HVAC first.
These contaminants can include pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. All build up in the air when your HVAC system isn't working properly.
To start, you might need a clean air filter. Change your filter and make sure your air ducts are clean regularly. This can reduce the allergy symptoms you and family members are experiencing.
You can also switch to an HVAC system that replaces indoor air with filtered outdoor air.
This improves ventilation. Then, you can reduce mold growth within your home and airborne pollutants.
If your allergies persist, check out these tips for improving indoor air quality.
6. Moisture in the Air
Your air conditioner should pull humidity from the air within your home. However, water pooling around windows or a sticky feeling inside your home indicate the AC isn't working properly.
Depending on where you live, you might expect that sticky weather during spring and summer months. However, you want to escape that humidity when you step into your home.
If your cooling system can't keep the humidity down, you need HVAC repair.
It's possible your air conditioning unit needs recalibration. On the other hand, there might also be a larger cause.
Regardless of the weather outside, your air conditioner should go through routine cooling cycles. These cycles occur more often during the hottest days of summer. However, it shouldn't constantly cycle on and off.
Overly frequent cycles could also indicate you need HVAC repair.
You might even need a new air conditioning unit. Homeowners can also use this chart to program thermostat settings for each season, too.
That way, you can keep your home comfortable year-round without causing another spike in your energy bill.
7. A Little Leaking
Is there noticeable leaking from or around the air conditioning unit? In this case, the drain tube is either blocked or broken.
However, the issue might be more serious. If it's a refrigerant leak, you could require costly repairs. In either case, immediate action is necessary before the problems become more severe.
Leaving these little leaks unattended could create an environment for mold growth.
Your system is designed to remain dry at all times. Otherwise, it would cause more mold and mildew growth in your home. Call for HVAC repair before mold gets the chance to grow.
8. It's Just Old
Your current HVAC unit won't work forever. While regular checkups and maintenance can help detect little issues before they get worse, your unit will still kick it eventually.
If your HVAC unit is old, it might require HVAC repair more often.
In some cases, it's more cost-effective to purchase a new unit. Remember, newer units also have improved energy-efficiency, which can help you cut costs for the long-run.
Feel free to speak with our team if you're looking for product recommendations.
Cool Breeze Ahead: 8 Signs You Need HVAC Repair
Is your AC unit starting to smell up your home? Maybe it keeps losing its cool. If you've noticed any of these eight signs you need HVAC repair, get your unit checked right away.
You can improve the energy efficiency of your home, lower your bill, and extend the lifespan of your unit!
Looking for HVAC coupons to save on your next A/C unit or even furnace?
HVAC Maintenance Plan
Want two preventative maintenance visits per year AND VIP treatment on any repair service?