It would be wonderful if your home appliances had an emergency light to notify you of imminent problems—as your car does. Unfortunately, major appliances have no warning light, so it is up to you to decipher potential warning signs.
If you have been wondering about the health status of your air conditioner, look no further. These five symptoms are warning signs of imminent failure:
1. Loud and Odd Noises
Air conditioners are not quiet by nature. On a normal day, an AC unit will make a variety of noises that you probably don't notice. However, unusual noises or very loud sounds are a different story. If you begin to notice these sounds—or sounds such as squealing or growling—it is likely that your system has a problem.
Issues within the compressor or condenser may cause the issue. However, it may also be something simple—such as needing a cleaning.
2. Odd Odors
An air conditioning system should never produce offending odors—or odors of any kind. If you start to smell unusual smells coming from your AC unit, it may signify a mold or mildew issue. However, it may also be a sign that there is a clogged pipe or drain. It may also signify dirt and debris buildup. Whatever the case may be, a phone call to a professional is usually in order.
3. Circuit Breaker Tripping
The air conditioner should never trip your circuit breakers. If it does, it likely means that there is a problem within the electrical system. It may also mean that the system is old, outdated, or was not installed properly.
If your system is tripping your circuit breakers, turn the unit off immediately and call a professional. It can be very dangerous to investigate a potential electrical issue yourself.
4. Moisture and Leaking
Most people think it is normal for their AC unit to drip water or freeze over. However, moisture is not normal and it can be a serious issue. Water issues may be caused by leaking refrigerant, which is dangerous for humans and pets. It might also signify issues within the drain tube.
If your system is leaking, producing water, or freezing over, contact a professional—if left untreated, moisture can lead to mold and mildew issues. You may need to have something replaced, or it might need a good cleaning.
5. Frequent Cycling
An air conditioner unit will usually cycle as it switches from fan mode to cooling mode. However, it might also cycle due to issues. If you notice that your unit is cycling very frequently, it may signify that you have an issue with the thermostat. It might also be caused by open windows.
If your unit is cycling excessively, check to make sure your doors and windows are closed. If it continues, contact an AC repair professional.
Air conditioners may not come with warning lights, but they do produce warning signs. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, contact an AC repair professional for help. Your system may need a new part, or just a good cleaning.