Your air conditioner works hard during the long Jacksonville summers to keep your home cool. After years of heavy use, though, your air conditioner may start to break down. When it does, it is important to recognize potential early warning signs so that you can have your air conditioner repaired or replaced. McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning can examine your system completely before it gives up and leaves you hot and uncomfortable. If you have an air conditioner, you will want to know these five signs that your air conditioner is on the decline.
1. Your House Does Not Stay Cool
An obvious clue your air conditioner is declining is when your house does not stay cool, even after your system has been running for a long time. While all systems may struggle to a certain extent. Especially on hot days, air conditioners that are failing will not be able to keep up at all, no matter what the temperature is.
In many cases, a lack of cool air is caused by a failing compressor. Your compressor compresses your air conditioner’s refrigerant, which raises its temperature to allow it to expel air outside. If the compressor stops working, the refrigerant will stay warm to the point that it will not remove any heat from inside your home. This will cause your home to stay warm instead of cooling to your desired temperature.
Another condition that could cause this problem is a crack in the refrigerant line. While small cracks can be fixed, larger cracks may require replacement of a section of the refrigerant line or require installation of an entirely new line. In many cases, when a new line is required, it makes more sense to have McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning replace your entire system.
2. Unexpectedly High Electric Bills
Even the most efficient air conditioners from McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning use quite a bit of power to keep your home cool. However, whatever your energy use is, this should stay fairly consistent from summer to summer. Therefore, if you notice a sudden spike in your electric bill, then this could be a sign that your air conditioner is not working properly.
In some cases, it could be as simple as your air conditioner running more often because it is having trouble keeping your home cool. In other cases, it could be caused by a malfunctioning compressor or another malfunctioning component. In the case of a malfunctioning compressor, a higher amount of energy is used because the compressor is not moving and working as efficiently. Simply the compressor is drawing more power to try and do the same task.
3. Unexplained Clicking Sounds
Many HVAC systems from McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, even those that are operating normally, make a clicking sound when they turn off and on. This clicking sound is the sound of the relay engaging to send power to the appropriate air conditioner components.
However, if you hear this click but do not hear your system turn on, then you need to have a technician from McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning inspect your system. In many cases, the lack of activity means that power is reaching the relay but is not getting any further.
Sometimes, this means one or more of your air conditioner components has been damaged by a power surge, especially if there have recently been storms in your area. This condition could also indicate a problem with the thermostat, such as a problem with one of the electrical connections on the backplate of the thermostat.
In any case, if you hear this clicking sound without any associated HVAC activity, it is important to cut the power to your thermostat so that the electric relays do not become damaged from repeated use.
4. Unusual Smells
A properly functioning air conditioner from McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning should not produce any odors. If you do notice any type of odors coming from your system, it may mean there are problems that could cause your system to fail. One smell that is often noticed is a musty or mildew-like smell. This smell typically originates in your air conditioner’s evaporator coil.
If this coil is dusty or dirty, it will not be able to release moisture as it should, which can cause mildew to grow in the collected dust. Another possible problem is a blocked condensate drain. If the drain backs up, the water that accumulates will begin to leak into other system components, which can cause electrical damage and unwanted mildew growth.
Another problem you may encounter is a burning smell. If you notice any type of burning smell from your system, it is essential to cut power to the system at the breaker and immediately call McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning. If a component has deteriorated to the point that it is overheating, it is time to have your system repaired or replaced. Another possible cause of the burning smell is wires that are shorting out because they have had their insulation eaten by a squirrel or mouse.
5. Reduced Air Volume
Without air flowing through your system, your air conditioner cannot do much good. One common culprit behind reduced air volume is a blower fan that is malfunctioning in some way — whether its motor is dying, it is unbalanced or it simply needs to be cleaned. You will not experience the exceptional home comfort you deserve if there is a problem with your blower fan.
Another possible cause of reduced air volume is blocked ducts. If your ducts have accumulated too much dust or have become misshapen somehow, air will not be able to flow through them at the same rate it could when your ducts were first installed. This will lead to a less comfortable home and likely result in higher utility bills. A much simpler cause of reduced airflow is a dirty air filter that needs to be changed out as soon as possible.
Keeping Your System Working at Its Best
As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong with your air conditioner. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced company that you can call when you are having problems to ensure your system will be fixed properly. At McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we strive to constantly stay up-to-date on the latest developments in HVAC maintenance and repair. We do this so that we can provide a high level of service to our customers.
In addition to air conditioner repair and replacement, we also offer maintenance for your air conditioner to help it run more efficiently for longer. We can take care of your furnace as well — whether you need repair, maintenance or replacement. Other services we offer include air duct cleaning, indoor air quality testing, attic insulation installation and HVAC system design. We want to be the company you can trust to take care of all your home comfort needs.
We are proud to be family-owned and -operated, meaning you will receive the personal care that you deserve every time you give us a call. This personal touch plays out in our partnerships with multiple community organizations, including The Palmer Academy, Nemours Children’s Hospital and Sandalwood High School.
Beyond a commitment to our community as a while, we are dedicated to serving each individual customer, which is why we consistently receive five-star reviews from satisfied clients. If you are ready to repair or replace your air conditioner, give us a call at McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning today.