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Maintenance Tips and Tricks - 4 Signs Your AC Needs To Be Repaired or Replaced

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With summer just around the corner, and even already in full swing in many parts of the country, it's time to make sure your AC is in good health to handle the heat. Many people these days have inverter ACs that perform both heating and cooling functions, so they continue to use the AC units in the wintertime as well. However, the AC uses two very different systems for heating and cooling. Just because a unit is cooling well doesn't mean it will be able to heat well, and vice versa.

However, it does mean that the AC is in decent running condition and you don’t need to be worried about very high maintenance costs. If your AC has been completely switched off for the past few months and you are just about to fire it up, there are a range of issues you could face. Some of these are minor, while others might just be a bit more serious. Here are a few things you definitely need to watch out for.

1. Odor

One of the most common issues is that the air coming from the AC unit smells bad. It could produce a range of odors from the air that smells like smoke and fumes to air that smells like socks and bad eggs. While the nasty smell is certainly a problem, it can also pose a major health risk if left unattended. In fact, there is a medical problem known as sick building syndrome which was used to describe a range of problems people experienced in the 1970s when ACs were new to corporate buildings.

Today, large buildings take a lot more care of their AC systems, but the same can’t be said for the average homeowner. This is why it is extremely important to get your AC routinely serviced and thoroughly cleaned. If you are facing issues with a smelly AC, try to replace the air filters. If that doesn't help, get a professional to help you out.

2. Constantly Running

ACs use a lot of power and are a significant contributor to your monthly energy bill. The last thing you need is for the AC to be running constantly. This is another issue that a lot of homeowners face. There is a difference between the fan of the AC constantly running and the actual compressor being in constant operation.

It’s fine for the fan to run, but the compressor should switch off after some time. According to the information found at heatingandairspartanburgsc.com/blog/ac-constantly-running,there can be multiple reasons for this issue. If you aren’t an AC technician, this is something you should leave to the professionals. It would be unwise to try to open and fix a high-voltage appliance such as an AC without proper knowledge of what you are doing.

3. Poor Cooling/Heating

You might notice that even though the AC is running as it should be, and you can still hear the compressor cycle on and off, the air isn’t as cool as it should be. Even with the thermostat turned all the way down, you are getting relatively warm air through the system. There are a few things that could be causing this issue, but the most common reason is that the system is low on refrigerant. Again, this is something that you need to have a professional handle because you need the right equipment to gauge exactly how much refrigerant needs to be topped up, and you'll also need the refrigerant itself.

Generally, this is a small issue to fix which doesn’t cost too much or take up much time. However, if you have a leak in the system, then you might need to replace a couple of parts. Depending on the size and brand of the AC, costs can vary.

4. Noise

If your AC is louder than it should be, or it is making sounds that it shouldn't be, switch it off immediately and contact a specialist. Squealing or squeaking sounds are usually related to the fan belt or the bearing for the fan pulley. In some cases, there might be a problem with the motor, or there could be a broken internal part causing the noise. In any case, you'll want to stop running the AC to save it from further damage. Get a professional to inspect it before turning it back on.

The external components of the AC are constantly exposed to the elements and it has a number of parts inside that can malfunction. You need to have the system inspected by a qualified professional to be certain that they will take care of all the small things. It's usually the simple mistakes that untrained technicians make that eventually lead to the more expensive problems down the line.

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