Central air conditioners are extremely expensive appliances, but in many areas of the country, they are an absolute necessity. This means that replacements must be considered in a timely manner if your unit is reaching the end of its life. There are some things you can look for that will tip you off to the need for a replacement, so keep reading to find out what they are.
Your Unit Is Working Overtime
If you have noticed that your AC system has been working nonstop during the day and it has not been keeping up with the thermostat, then this is a good sign that the unit may need to be replaced. As central AC systems get older, they simply do not work as efficiently as they once did. The compressor pump may have lost its tight seal, and the motor may not be able to compress the coolant as much as it should. The coolant lines may leak a bit, and joints may start to degrade along the pipes. Fins may also be filled with debris and keeping the unit from dispelling hot air.
Even if you have not noticed a reduction in airflow, you have likely noticed a massive increase in your energy bills. While the unit struggles to keep up, energy is expelled to keep the inefficient unit working.
Keep in mind that some maintenance work can be completed by an HVAC professional to keep the unit operational for some time even if it is struggling to keep up. This can help you to keep your house cool while you consider your options regarding a new cooling system.
You Are Hearing Some New Noises
It goes without saying that noises coming from any appliance are likely bad signs. This is true of your AC system, and there are some different sounds you may hear. A high-pitched whining sound is often heard if ice is building within the unit. This happens when the coolant system has a leak and is losing refrigerant. Air then cannot pass easily through the unit, and the noise is heard.
Also, any clanging or clanking noises can be the result of a compressor motor that is starting to fail. Belts may be failing as well and can cause a great deal of vibration, which can lead to some squealing within the system. Bearings will often make grinding sounds when they go bad.
Noises can be a sign of a major and imminent failure, so you want to turn off the unit and contact your HVAC professional as soon as possible to diagnose the issue.
To learn more, contact an air conditioning contractor.