Does your air conditioner run the way it used to? If it’s a gradual change, it can be difficult to put your finger on the problem. What changed and when did it change?
You may notice a change in airflow from some of your registers. Maybe your AC is running longer or not as long as it normally does. You may even notice new sounds, smells, and pools of water around your furnace.
These signs can indicate that your air conditioner needs service or repairs.
At Fire & Ice, we’ve worked on hundreds of HVAC systems in Hilliard, OH, and seen every problem imaginable. But unless we’re performing routine maintenance and discover a problem, we rely on you to alert us when you feel something’s amiss.
And if you find and fix a small problem, you may have saved yourself a repair bill that’s in the thousands rather than the hundreds of dollars. You may even keep your system from breaking down completely.
In this article, we discuss the most common changes in your air conditioner’s performance that you may notice.
Signs That It’s Time to Repair Your Air Conditioner
Here are some things you can look for that may indicate it’s time to schedule that service call:
An increase in dust around your home.
Your system may be running longer than it used to. The best indicator of that could be your electricity bill. If there’s a spike that you can’t attribute to something else, it could be your AC.
Conversely, your air conditioner might be shutting off too soon. We call this “short-cycling.” It can be caused by a variety of factors, and it leads to cold and hot spots in the home.
A noticeable change in your allergies or pet odors.
There’s an ice buildup on the AC. Ice can form on your air conditioner if the refrigerant falls below freezing, or it could be caused by faulty wiring or a dirty coil.
Unusual smells are coming from vents. Dirty Sock Syndrome is caused by the buildup of mold and bacteria on your air conditioner. Specifically, this buildup occurs in the system’s evaporator coil, which is housed in the indoor AC unit.
There are blocked vents. This could be due to a major collection of dust/mold. Or you might have a nest of some sort. It is not uncommon for ducts to become disconnected or damaged. Pieces of an air filter may have gotten dislodged and wound up in the ducts.
It feels muggy in the house. Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the house by removing hot air. It also removes humidity. And if there’s a problem, the indoor humidity might creep up past comfortable levels.
New noises from your system. Identifying the location, the type of noise, and when you hear it (When it starts? When it stops?) can often save time once a technician visits.
Hot or cold spots around the home. (First, check your filter to see if it’s clogged. A clean filter may alleviate some of these issues.)
How Much Does It Cost to Repair an Air Conditioner?
Tell me if this sounds familiar: A mechanic tells you there’s a problem with your car, and that it may fail before long. If you’re anything like me, you’ll ask if it needs to be taken care of right away.
The answer to this question is often “No,” but the mechanic can’t guarantee how long the car will last in its damaged state. The same is often true of HVAC repair.
You might view the problem as a small one, and ignore it. The dilemma becomes: When does a small problem become major, perhaps even leading to a total system failure?
Then you’re stuck without air conditioning on the hottest day of the year, and you need service RIGHT NOW.
After the HVAC repair specialist gives you the bad news, you need to weigh the pros and cons.
- Get the repairs taken care of and have a much lower chance of problems in the near future.
- Take care of only the most prominent issues and deal with this again when necessary (kick the can down the road).
- Decide to replace the whole thing.
There are other considerations when deciding to repair your air conditioner. Cost is a big one. For reference, here are the average costs of several components:
- Compressor replacement: $2000+
- Evaporator replacement: $1500+
- Condenser replacement: $1700+
- Smaller components: $300-$800
Only you can make the call about waiting to repair. While you’re deciding, we recommend the following two articles from our learning center.
Assessing Your Air Conditioner Repair Options in Hilliard, Ohio
While items such as regularly changing your filter and scheduling routine maintenance are good advice for any system, if you’re dealing with unwanted odors or you’re being drowned out by a new noise, it’s time to schedule a visit from a repair specialist.
Skipping this could mean a loss of comfort, a higher electric bill, or even the failure of your system.
Having a conversation with a licensed HVAC partner is a good first step.
At Fire & Ice, we take pride in doing the work thoroughly the first time, every time. Whether it’s a repair or replacement, we have the expertise and knowledge to get your system working quietly and efficiently to provide maximum comfort to your home.
And if you want to learn more about air conditioners, we recommend reading the following: