In some places, air conditioning is a luxury. Here in Texas, it’s a necessity. So when your air conditioning isn’t working at its best, that can to big problems for you and your family. The good news is that with the help of an AC repair pro, your air conditioning can be back up and running, cooling your home and keeping the heat at bay.
Air conditioning systems, like all things, work best and offer the longest life if they’re well maintained. Some air conditioning systems can last up to 30 years if they’re properly cared for, and part of that care is knowing when to call in an AC repair pro.
Some air conditioning problems can cause secondary problems or endanger you and your loved ones. In most situations, waiting to diagnose and solve a problem ends up costing more than getting it fixed by an AC repair pro right away. In this ultimate guide, we’ll show you when you should call for help and why it’s important to go with a pro.
First, let’s talk about the red flags of air conditioning system malfunctions.
When to Call an AC Repair Pro
Just like how a cough that won’t go away should prompt a call to your doctor, so too should these air conditioning symptoms signal you to get your system checked out. We’ve separated these into two groups:
- You just can’t manage to get cool.
- Your air conditioning system is doing strange things like making weird sounds.
Neither of these groups is necessarily more urgent than the other; we’ve separated these six red flags into these two groups to make them easier to remember in the future.
When you just can’t get cool…
There are a number of reasons your air conditioning system might fail to cool your home properly. We’re going to examine three of them, and what it might mean for your system. We’ll also let you know when there is a potential safety hazard.
No cool air comes out.
If air is blowing out but it’s just not cool, this is a major red flag. Something is probably wrong with your air conditioning system. There are two likely culprits that might cause this problem–a failed compressor or not enough Freon.
A failed compressor will have to be replaced. The compressor is what’s responsible for running your air conditioning system. Think of it like the motor. If your car’s engine suddenly stopped running, you would call a mechanic, right?
A failed compressor should prompt a call to your AC repair pro.
The other problem we mentioned is that you might be running low on freon. Freon is a substance that allows your air conditioning system to cool the air. Without it, the air doesn’t get cooled.
For this problem, you’ll definitely want the help of a pro because freon can be dangerous. Please don’t attempt to restore freon levels by yourself.
Air flow is weak or inconsistent.
Think of this like water pressure. If you turned on your faucet and water dribbled out, or came out in varying pressures, you would probably call a plumber. If your air flow is weak–that is, if it barely feels like it’s on even though it is–or inconsistent (strong in some areas and weak in others), you should call an AC repair pro.
Your compressor might be failing. Like we said above, a failed compressor might have to be replaced, but if you can catch the problem before it fails entirely, you might be able to have it repaired.
Alternately, you might have a duct work problem. There might be an obstruction or the ducts might need cleaning. You should have the ducts cleaned as maintenance work to prevent this–and also to keep from inhaling whatever particles might gather within the duct system. Usually keeping a clean filter can prevent this issue.
One room is quite cold while another is warm.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re walking through different climates as you move through your house. If you notice that one room is colder or warmer than the others, your thermostat might be malfunctioning.
An AC repair pro can fix your thermostat so that you can have even cooling throughout your home.
When your air conditioning system does strange things…
From sounds to smells, to the presence of unexplained liquid, air conditioning systems can do some pretty strange things when they’re not working right. If your system does any of these things, you should contact an AC repair pro right away.
You find leaks and unexplained puddles.
Pick up the phone right away. If you can, leave your house until an AC repair pro can assess your situation. It might just be water from a broken or blocked condensation tube.
It might just be water from a broken or blocked condensation tube. This wouldn’t cause any immediate danger, but it can contribute to mold growth over time. Mold can be unhealthy for people and pets and be damaging for your home.
On the other hand, that mysterious liquid might not be water. It could be a refrigerant, which can lead to refrigerant poisoning–and that’s extremely dangerous. You shouldn’t try to clean it up and you shouldn’t be anywhere near it. Just breathing near it can cause serious health complications.
A refrigerant leak needs to be taken care of as soon as possible by a trained and licensed professional.
Either that’s a ghost or your air conditioning unit is malfunctioning.
Do you hear strange sounds coming from your air conditioning system or unit? You don’t need the Ghostbusters–you need an AC repair pro. If you hear grinding, grating, or even squealing sounds, pick up the phone. Your unit might need to be replaced–or it might just need a new belt.
A professional AC repair person will know how to fix it so that it stops making strange sounds.
Your air-conditioned air smells bad.
Air conditioning shouldn’t have an odor, at least, so long as there’s nothing wrong. There are two different types of odors that might signal a problem with your air conditioning system:
- A musty smell
- A foul or pungent smell
The musty smell is typically an indicator of mold somewhere in the system. You’ll want the system professionally checked and cleaned so that you don’t have to breathe that in.
The foul smell can be evidence that the wire insulation in your air conditioning system is burnt out–you’ll want to get this fixed.
Why Go With a Pro
We get it–air conditioning is expensive. When it breaks you might want to try to save money by price-shopping for a repair person. Big mistake.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.” Where air conditioning repair is concerned, there’s more to it than that. We’ve got three reasons why you should enlist the help of a professional. We’ll also clue you in as to what you should look for in an AC Repair Pro.
3 Reasons You Need a Pro
There are lots of great reasons to spring for professional help when your air conditioning system goes on the fritz. Professional air conditioning repair can protect you in three ways:
Most likely, when your air conditioning system was installed, it came with a warranty to protect against malfunctioning parts. This is a valuable contract that can save you lots of money unless you don’t have your system serviced by a professional.
Because amateur repair persons might do more damage than good, some warranties are voided should you choose to hire them over a professional. They might cost less at the outset, but you could end up paying more down the road if your warranty is nullified.
Do you recall our mention of freon and refrigerant above and how they’re dangerous? Professionals are trained and certified to deal with these substances safely, ensuring your safety in the event of a malfunction.
Because these substances can leak from other problems that might be caused by an amateur repair person, the cheaper service option might lead to medical expenses, too.
Finally, you should consider your air conditioning system to be an investment. It improves the value of your home. Taking care of it by having it serviced by those professionals who are trained and certified to maintain and repair your system is a great way to protect your investment and get the most time out of it that you can.
What to Look For
When it comes time to find the right AC Repair Pro, you want to know what to look for. As a starter, he or she should be trained and certified. This can be an intensive process, but it means that you’ll enjoy the protections mentioned above.
Since repairs and replacements outside of warranty coverage can be an unexpected cost, finding an AC Repair Pro that offers financial plans might be a good move. This way, you won’t have to worry about sacrificing quality service for price.
If you have any additional questions about your air conditioning system, its maintenance or repair, please contact us.