It’s easy to know when an AC unit isn’t working well. But how does one differentiate between air conditioning systems that aren’t working and those with issues warranting a complete replacement? Sometimes, the signs might be obvious. Other instances are more difficult to spot. Still, you may unknowingly confuse a simple task as one more complicated than it is.
Below are five of the most common signs that your AC unit needs replacing. Some of the problems, when mild, are resolvable through parts replacement or cleaning.
1. Too Much Condensation and Moisture Coming From The Vents
While moisture is present on air conditioner coils, a buildup of condensation on the outside of vents, inside the ducts, and along the area around the bars could indicate a refrigerant leak of freon. Freon is an organic compound that helps cool the air it comes into contact with.
If a refrigerant leak is happening, the likely cause is damage to the coils themselves. There are generally two options to fix this. The first involves removing and replacing coil bars, commonly done by HVAC technicians specializing in cooling services. The other is through purchasing a new air conditioner altogether.
2. Mold in and around the Vents and AC
Mold is a fungus that, in its flowering state, appears as tiny black and brown specs. As the growth increases, the spots grow, resulting in an unpleasant appearance. But looks aside, mold growth poses a health risk on its own and can lead to breathing problems, eye irritation, and severe allergic reactions.
Mold growth along the base and rim of air vents is present when an AC unit is leaking. Under ordinary conditions, ACs keep humidity levels low anywhere cold air passes. Nearby mold will grow around the ducts if there’s a large concentration on the HVAC grille or low performance from the AC.
3. Unpleasant Odors when running the AC
If you turn on your air conditioner and immediately get a whiff of an odor, it might be time for you to get the unit cleaned. In the worst case, irreparable damages such as broken ducts, clogged airways, or a corroded radiator may justify purchasing one that’s brand new. If you don’t run your air conditioner very often, try getting it cleaned before looking into an overhaul.
4. Energy bills are Higher
Faulty AC units must work harder to produce cool air, using more energy to pass cool air to your living space. See if anything is blocking the ducts or outdoor unit first. Too many bent fins around the radiator are one such cause for this. Hit with a high electric bill after that? A new AC can bring your costs back to what they were.
5. No Cool Air Coming from the AC
A lack of cool air can denote a faulty thermostat or a damaged radiator. Whatever the case, No cool air on a clean system is on old ACs and units with dirty interior parts. Check with a cooling services technician to get the temp back to a comfortable level.
Air conditioning systems are complex machines made with lots of different parts. It’s pertinent to address any problems you run across with your AC as early as possible. Doing so can increase its lifespan and make repairs and replacements infrequent.