Air Con Maintenance: What to Look for

Now that summer’s here and the weather is warming up, you’re likely to be relying on your air conditioning more to keep the indoor temperature comfortable. If you work in a hot and stuffy environment, the AC unit will be vital to keep you cool.

While you may think the air conditioning is working fine, it’s only when the weather gets really hot that you start to realise it’s not performing as effectively as it did last summer. Could it be time for a maintenance call to a servicing company – or is there another more serious reason for a decline in performance?

There are certain signs to look out for if you think your AC needs maintenance. Learn how to spot the most common indicators that it’s performing below-par, as catching a problem early and fixing it can save you a costly emergency call-out charge later down the line.

Blowing warm air

One of the most obvious signs there’s a problem is if your system is blowing warm air. Even if you feel the air circulating through the vents is just a little bit warmer than it used to be, it’s worth getting it checked out, as it could mean your system is working overtime to keep the temperature comfortable. There could be an array of possible causes including condenser issues, leaking or low refrigerant and duct leakage.

Making strange noises

It’s never a good sign when bizarre sounds are emitting from your air conditioning, as all systems are designed to run quietly. Any louder than usual operational sounds, such as grinding, metallic screeching or banging noises, should be investigated straight away. They can indicate something’s wrong inside the unit, such as broken components, a loose belt, or general debris. Get it checked by an air conditioning specialist ASAP to avoid serious system damage.

Unusual smells

Any strange smells should be investigated right away, as they can be caused by an array of issues, some of which are potentially dangerous. An odour can result from a pest infiltration, mould growing within the system, or from burned-out wire insulation.

Mould and mildew can grow due to inadequate maintenance and servicing, as moisture can build up on your coil, fuelled by dust that collects in the AC unit over time. To protect the building occupants’ health, ensure you deal with unusual smells quickly.

Poor air flow

If you’re experiencing poor airflow, it could be due to issues with the fan, which is responsible for pushing the cool air through the ducts. The problems can be caused by dirty air filters, a failing blower motor, or a faulty fan control board.

When the blower motor is sluggish, this can seriously impede the airflow. Although poor airflow can have many causes, the good news is you can solve most of them with simple maintenance.

Moisture/water accumulation

An air conditioning system should remain dry at all times, to avoid the build-up of mould and mildew. If you spot a leak, this may be due to a blocked or broken condensation drain. This is something you need to get fixed quickly, as it’s one of the most important components of your AC system.

The condensation drain does several jobs and is critical to the functionality of the whole system. Failing to get it fixed as soon as you spot a leak could lead to expensive emergency repairs later.

Thermostat issues

Sometimes, the thermostat is the problem, rather than the system itself. An obvious sign is if it’s on a setting of say 75 degrees and your interior temperature is off by tens of degrees. Other signs aren’t so obvious, as you may have varied temperature zones from room to room.

A knowledgeable AC technician can work out what the problem is pretty quickly.

High energy bills

If your air conditioning was operating fine last summer, but the energy bills are much higher this year, it could indicate your system needs checking out. It may need a simple service or general maintenance to stop it from having to work overtime – causing the spike in your bills.

Don’t neglect it, thinking it’s okay as long as it’s still working, as this could end up being a false economy if it breaks down altogether and you need an emergency repair.

With the coronavirus lockdown still in place, maintaining your air conditioning is vital in the battle against the virus. No-one wants stale air in their home or workplace. Air conditioners that cycle out the indoor air, exchanging it for clean outside air, can help to lower transmission by removing air that might be contaminated.

Don’t let ineffective air conditioning simply circulate stale air – keep yours in tip-top condition to make sure your interior air quality is as pure as possible.