Summer is the time of year when you need to be most vigilant about detecting problems with your air conditioner. Preventive maintenance can keep your system fairly healthy during the high-stress summer season, but it’s not a perfect solution. Even with regular inspection and maintenance appointments, you need to keep an eye out for signs that your system is in trouble. One of the easiest ways to tell whether or not your air conditioner is in need of repairs is to listen for the system making weird noises during operation. If that starts happening, you should definitely have a technician take a look at the system for you. The following are some of the more common sounds that indicate your air conditioner is in trouble.
Grinding sounds are often due to the air handler motor in your system having problems. The air handler motor contains a number of oiled bearings that help it to keep friction low during operation. These bearings will eventually start wearing down the more you use the air conditioner, causing a rise in the amount of friction the system suffers while it’s on. If you hear grinding coming from your air conditioner, you need to call for repairs as soon as you can. If the bearings aren’t replaced in time, the air handler motor will overheat and burn out. Air handler motors are a lot more expensive to replace than bearings.
If your AC is making a sound like the air being let out of a tire, then you should have someone take a look at it as soon as you can. That sound often means that you have air bubbles in your refrigerant line, which means you have a leak. As the refrigerant level in the air conditioner falls, the system will slowly lose its ability to cool the home. If the refrigerant level in the air conditioner drops too low, the system will break down completely. Make sure you have the system repaired before that happens.
Is your system shutting itself off only a couple of minutes into its cooling cycle, instead of completing the full thing? That’s called, appropriately, short cycling, and it’s a serious problem for the air conditioner. Short cycling prevents the air conditioner from cooling the home as well as it should, since it can’t complete a full cooling cycle. That’s not the worst of it, though. Short cycling increases the amount of strain the air conditioner is put under, making it more likely to develop other problems the longer it cycles. Extended short cycling over a long period of time can shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by a number of years, so it’s in your best interests to have it repaired as soon as possible.
Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing offers comprehensive HVAC services in Silver Spring. If you need help keeping your air conditioner in proper shape this summer, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional technicians.