There aren’t many things worse than dealing with the scorching summer heat of Vero Beach, FL, without a working air conditioner to keep you cool. If you don’t learn to recognize the signs of imminent failure, however, you may end up facing that exact issue. Here are some telltale signs that your AC system has issues and might break down soon:

Poor Performance

If your air conditioner fails to perform its primary task — keeping your home cool — it’ll be difficult to escape the conclusion that something is seriously wrong with it. If the system hasn’t already completely failed by refusing to turn on, there are two primary ways in which you might see this kind of poor performance. Either your AC system will blow only a weak stream of cold air, or it’ll begin blowing warm air instead.

The most common reason for the former problem is dirty air filters, so remember to replace your system’s filters at least every 90 days, or clean them at least once a month if you have a ductless system. If you have ductwork, holes in it are another possible explanation. It may also be that your system’s fan motors have failed or that the fan blades themselves have come loose.

Various things may lie behind the latter problem as well, including clogged air filters, a faulty thermostat, frozen evaporator coils, a malfunctioning compressor and a refrigerant leak. Other than changing or cleaning air filters, all these issues require the attention of trained professionals.

Skyrocketing Utility Bills

As issues like those we’ve just mentioned beset your air conditioner, its efficiency will likely start to plummet. Falling AC efficiency is typically a result of worn-down, old or broken components, meaning that it’s often simply a consequence of the fact that your system is aging. If the decline in efficiency is sharp and rapid, however, something else may be at play.

The best gauge of your system’s efficiency is the size of your utility bills. If your bills spike even though you haven’t markedly increased your AC usage recently, your system’s efficiency is likely dropping. That means it’s time to call HVAC service technicians and either schedule repairs or invest in a new system altogether.

Loud Noises

There are only three noises your air conditioner might make that don’t typically indicate trouble. One is the standard hum that it makes as it operates. The other two are temporary swooshing or clicking sounds that you might hear after turning the system on for the first time in a long while.

Hissing is an especially distressing noise because it signifies a refrigerant leak, and refrigerant can be highly dangerous if inhaled. Banging, buzzing and rattling might mean either that debris is inside your system or that there is some sort of mechanical failure.

Weird Odors

Your AC system should always do its work odorlessly, so any bizarre smells should clearly alert you that something is wrong. Frayed electrical wires might shoot out a spark and start a fire, so stay alert for burning smells. Exhaust fumes might also leak out and smell like smoke.

Refrigerant smells like chloroform. Dead animals might smell like garbage, and their droppings will also give off a terrible stench. Biological growth anywhere on or in your AC system may produce a musty odor.

Old Age

Lastly, there’s the issue of your AC system’s age. The average useful life of a central air conditioning system is about 15 years, and yours will be able to reach or exceed this point if you take care of it and provide it with professional maintenance at least once a year. Even if your AC system outwardly appears to be in good shape, you should prepare yourself for potential breakdowns once it’s been around for more than 15 years.

With the information above, you’ll be able to more accurately predict and better prepare for AC malfunctions. As soon as you notice something odd brewing, call our team at Grimes Heating & Air Conditioning to ask for the finest AC repair services in the Vero Beach, FL, area.

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