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4 Signs Your Air Conditioning Is About to Break

November 6, 2016

Waiting until your air conditioner actually breaks is the worst time to fix it. At that point, you’ll face more costly repairs or even the expense of a full replacement. The cheaper, smarter approach is to watch for the telltale signs of imminent air conditioner failure and nip the problem in the bud early. But how do you know what symptoms to look for? Here are four red flags that typically mean your HVAC system is on the verge of breaking down.

A close up of a blind

Inconsistent Cooling in Different Rooms

Sometimes a HVAC system that’s about to break will cool some rooms effectively while leaving others warm. If you notice an unusually inconsistent temperature in different areas of your house, your ductwork might have a leak or a hole. The problem is most likely originates in the ducts leading to the warmer rooms. Because duct leaks and tears cause your system to cool less efficiently, this symptom will also drive up your energy bills.

Bizarre Sounds

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you probably know your HVAC system’s noises like the back of your hand. Anytime you hear something out of the ordinary from your system, don’t ignore it. Whooshing air and humming aren’t anything to worry about, but knocking, rattling, and squealing are all red flags. If you hear any strange noises from your air conditioner, calling a HVAC repair team right away will save you money in the long run. Strange noises can signify anything from an out-of-place belt to a broken motor.

Water Leaks

Water is a bad sign when it comes to the health of your air conditioner. If you see moisture or a leak near your HVAC system, it’s usually due to one of two causes. The worst-case scenario is that your refrigerant could be leaking. This isn’t a problem only for your HVAC system. It’s also a health risk to your household. Call a repair expert right away if you suspect a refrigerant leak.
Alternatively, water pooling near your air conditioner could mean that the drainage tube could be plugged up or broken. This is not as dangerous of a problem, but you should still deal with it immediately to avoid mold and other problems down the road.

Low or No Air Flow in Certain Areas

You might notice some vents blowing less air than those in other areas of your home. This is often an early sign that your HVAC compressor is going out. Call a repair tech as soon as you notice differences in air flow. The problem could also be with your ductwork, which might be clogged with dust or debris. Not only will dust and debris impede air flow, but they will also pollute the air you and your family breathe, potentially exacerbating health issues like asthma or allergies.

The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t wait until your air conditioner shuts down completely before intervening. Stay vigilant, and if you see any of these four red flags, call a HVAC repair team as soon as possible.

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