You should be especially watchful for any signs that your air conditioner is having trouble during the summer, when the strain on the system is at its highest. Preventive maintenance can lower the chances of problems developing by a substantial amount. However, no amount of maintenance can completely remove the possibility of a problem of some kind afflicting the system. The faster you can identify the problem, the faster you can have it fixed and the better off the system will be. One of the easiest ways to quickly identify that your air conditioner is in need of repairs is to listen for any odd sounds coming from your air conditioner.
A grinding sound is typically the result of an air handler issue. The air handler is the part of your air conditioner responsible for blowing air throughout the ducts, cooling the home in the process. Without the air handler, the system wouldn’t be able to move air through itself to cool it. Within the air handler motor are a number of oiled bearings designed to reduce friction on the system. This helps it to last longer, and operate more smoothly. However, these bearings don’t last forever.
As the bearings wear out, the friction on the motor increases until it starts to make a loud grinding sound. If you hear this sound, it’s a good idea to turn the air conditioner off and call for repairs as soon as possible. If you don’t have the bearings in the air handler replaced, you could end up having to replace the entire motor when it burns out.
If your air conditioner is making sounds like a pot bubbling over, it could mean that you have air bubbles forming in your refrigerant line. That’s bad news for you. A refrigerant leak will cause a steady drop in output, as the level of refrigerant in the system declines. If the leak isn’t fixed in time, the refrigerant level can eventually drop so low that the system breaks down entirely. Make sure that you have a professional examine your air conditioner if you notice fluid dripping from your system.
Short cycling is when the air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes. There could be a couple of different reasons why this happens. It’s possible that you have an electrical problem between the thermostat and the rest of the air conditioner. A damaged compressor can also cause short cycling, in some cases. Regardless, though, it’s bad sign.
Short cycling cuts down on the air conditioner’s output, but it also increases the rate at which the system wears out. If you don’t have the issue fixed in time, you’re going to need to repair the air conditioner more often and replace it sooner. Turn your air conditioner off and call a professional if you notice it short cycling.