It may be mild today, but you know that summer is just around the corner. And based on the past few summers we’ve had in the Greater Toronto Area, this one could be another scorcher.
Are you confident your air conditioning unit will keep up during a heat wave?
If your air conditioner is a recent addition, you probably have nothing to worry about – just follow a few A/C safety precautions and you’ll be fine. But if you’re relying on an older unit, you’ll want to watch out for the common signs of an ailing air conditioner.
Keep an eye out for red flags such as:
- Your home not cooling
- A/C making strange noises
- Water leaking from the A/C
- A/C running all the time
- Poor air flow
- Sharply increasing hydro bill
Read on to learn why it could mean your air conditioner might not make it.
Your Home is Not Cooling
When the outdoor temperature is rising, the air conditioner is on and your home is not cooling, it is an obvious sign that something’s wrong.
One way to gauge if your A/C unit is running correctly is when your home’s temperature drops at least one degree per hour.
If your temperature is not dropping at this rate, here is a checklist of things you can run through while your central air conditioner is turned off:
- Clear away any dirt and debris such as leaves, grass and pollen from around your unit.
- Ensure that any shrubs or trees near your unit are trimmed back so there is at least two to three feet of space between the compressor and any plants or shrubs, and five feet of clearance with any trees above the unit.
- Remove any covers and coil blankets you may have had on your unit over the winter.
- Repair or replace damaged pipe insulation. Pipe insulation that leads to your home can become damaged over winter by moisture and ice.
- Inspect the condensate line inside your home. Clear any moisture or build-up from clogging your condensate hose and drain.
- Inspect your air filter. Install a high-efficiency pleated air filter that effectively filters outside air so that your system pumps out cleaner air.
- Schedule an inspection. Minimize energy consumption by up to 30% by having proper adjustments and regular cleanings each year.
Your A/C Unit is Making Strange Noises
Any noise other than a quiet steady hum is a reason for concern. Loud squealing or grinding noises could indicate that something is loose and needs tightening.
The sooner your failing air conditioner is serviced the better. If problems are caught early, they can save you money in the long run.
Water is Leaking from Your A/C Unit
A puddle of water around your unit is a sign that it has sprung a leak. The two main causes for a leak are the refrigerant line or the condensate line. Fortunately, both are easy repairs. A leaking condensate line will limit your system’s efficiency and can cause water damage in your home. It can be easily spotted by moisture near your condensate drain pan, or near your exterior unit.
A more serious leak would be from the refrigerant line since it contains Freon and becomes a health risk. Freon is an odourless gas that can cut off oxygen to your lungs. Scheduling an annual inspection can detect any potential refrigerant line leaks.
Your Air Conditioning Unit is Running All the Time
If your A/C unit is more than 10 years old, it may be losing its efficiency. As air conditioners age, they become more susceptible to rust and corrosion from excess water. Your air conditioner may also be undersized for your home.
It might be time to upgrade your air conditioner.
Air Flow Issues
Just like your refrigerator, if it smells bad, it’s not a good thing. Musty smells could indicate mold or mildew in your air ducts. Luckily this is an easy fix with a service call to have your ductwork inspected and cleaned.
Poor air flow is another sign your A/C system needs attention. Built-up debris such as pollen, dust, bacteria, pet dander, and carpet fibres can all build up in your ductwork and restrict air flow. Having your ductwork cleaned regularly is a great preventive measure.
No matter what type of air conditioner you have, a clogged air filter will limit the air flow. Remember to clean the air filter in your window or portable air conditioner periodically to maintain good air flow and indoor air quality.
Your Hydro Bill is Increasing
If you notice that your electricity bill is significantly higher than it was a year ago for the same time period, this could be a warning sign that your air conditioner needs attention. When your A/C unit isn’t running efficiently, it runs at a high level trying to cool your home. This translates to higher energy costs. Your unit needs to be serviced as soon as possible.
Make Sure Your A/C Lasts the Summer
Don’t sweat the predictions that the summer of 2019 could be one of the hottest yet! Be prepared with an effectively-running cooling system. Whatever air conditioning system you own, give your unit the TLC it needs to deliver peak performance when you need it.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, give us a call. We offer the highest ranked air conditioning services in the GTA.