Would you believe that refrigeration technology, an early attempt at air conditioning, dates all the way back to 1748? Of course, AC as we know and love it today didn’t really become practical until the early 20th century. It took many more decades before window units and central systems were affordable enough to be within the economic reach of most Americans.

If you’re one of the 90% of the country’s households that depend on AC to stay cool and comfortable in the summer months, it’s important to familiarize yourself with basic HVAC troubleshooting tips. Read on to learn five signs you need air conditioner repair.

1. It’s Not Cool

One clear-cut sign that your HVAC system should be looked at by a professional? It’s not cooling as it once did. Even more obvious, it’s actually blowing hot air.

One sure sign that your AC needs repair is if it’s blowing hot air. This could be because of a broken compressor or it could signal a refrigerant leak. Another possibility is a broken or disconnected return duct which is drawing in warm air from the outside.

2. Your System Is Noisy

Just like hearing strange noises when you drive your car, loud or unusual noises emanating from the AC can be a sign of big trouble. Unlike with your vehicle, however, you can’t just turn up the radio to drown out the noise of your cooling system.

Some of the sounds to keep an ear out for include:

  • Rattling
  • Grinding
  • Banging
  • Screeching
  • Clanking

These could indicate parts that are loose or not aligned properly, broken bearings, or a need for lubrication. Act quickly, as these problems can lead to significant damage. Your entire system may need to be replaced.

3. Elevated Energy Bills 

If you open your electrical bill and find a sudden spike in the amount you owe, your air conditioner may be to blame. When there are issues that cause the AC to work harder, it uses more electricity.

Check for a dirty or clogged filter, duct leaks, or a motor that’s struggling. If necessary, call your HVAC tech to help troubleshoot the problem.

4. Visible Signs of Moisture

Whether it’s a frozen AC coil, condensation on the unit or any other type of water where it shouldn’t be, moisture is a scary sign. Don’t delay getting professional help in this situation.

Not only can leaks lead to costly repairs, but they can also cause mold or mildew to develop in your home. That’s a health hazard as well as a major pain to remedy.

5. Your Unit Is Haunted

OK, your AC isn’t actually haunted. But it may seem like it, given that the air conditioning randomly turns off and then back on again. Or maybe you experience significant temperature changes in different areas in the home — a cool spot here, a warm area there.

Even if the AC sometimes acts unpredictably, as though there’s a ghost afoot, there’s a rational explanation. Get the pros in to take a look, ASAP.

HVAC Troubleshooting Is Important

Avoid extensive, expensive repairs that will turn your home upside down — and wreak havoc with your budget. If you don’t feel confident diagnosing your own AC issues, give us a call. We’ll be happy to do the HVAC troubleshooting for you, then make any necessary repairs!