How to know when it’s time to contact an HVAC expert to finish the job
If you’ve ever dealt with a power outage in the middle of summer, you know how quickly your home can heat up. Imagine that instead of a power outage bringing your air conditioner to a halt, it’s the air conditioner itself that has a problem.
Now, instead of simply waiting for the power to come back on, you have to diagnose the problem, determine if you need to call an AC technician, and then wait for them to come to your home and repair your air conditioner. Fortunately, there are ways to shorten this process that can help minimize the time that you’re without air conditioning.
By being aware of signs of potentially serious air conditioner problems, you can have a professional Houston AC repair technician at your home before your system breaks down completely. To increase your awareness of what to look for, here are 5 signs that it’s time to call a professional AC technician:
1. Humid air
One of the ways that your air conditioner cools the air is by removing humidity. Though this doesn’t actually change the air’s temperature, air that’s lower in humidity feels cooler on the skin, making this an important part of the process. If you notice your home feeling more humid than normal, this could indicate a serious problem with your air conditioner.
Typically, a lack of humidity removal is caused by a problem with the evaporator coils. If these coils are cracked, dirty or in any other way malfunctioning, the humidity in the air won’t properly condense on these coils.
The refrigerant and refrigerant line in your air conditioner are the most important components that help your system keep your home cool. If they are malfunctioning in some way, a common symptom of this problem is that frost will form either on the evaporator coils or on the portion of the refrigerant line located outside.
In some cases, this can be indicative of a refrigerant leak, as a smaller volume of refrigerant can’t regulate its temperature as effectively. Another possible cause, as with humid air, is dirty evaporator coils.
3. Hot air
If your system is doing the opposite of its singular responsibility by blowing hot air instead of cold air, you’re definitely in need of an AC technician. A common cause of hot air blowing from your air conditioner is a blocked or malfunctioning compressor.
The compressor is the unit that sits outside your home. As it compresses the refrigerant to send it back inside, it removes and expels the heat that the refrigerant extracted from your home. If it is unable to do this task, the refrigerant will become too warm to remove heat, thus resulting in hot air blowing through your vents.
4. Water around indoor components
As mentioned, one of the functions your air conditioner performs is to remove humidity from the air. As the evaporator coils condense the water vapor into a liquid, the water falls off the evaporator coils into the drip pan and is removed from your home through the condensate drain.
If the drip pan or condensate drain becomes clogged, you’ll need a pro to repair this. Though this problem likely won’t make your system stop working, there is a small risk for electricity and water to mix, so you want to have the drain and drip pan cleaned and unclogged as soon as possible.
Pro tip: One way to prevent this problem is to pour a small amount of diluted bleach down your condensate drain every month or so to help remove any clogs that are forming.
Though your air conditioner may run more often on especially hot days, at no point should your system be cycling on and off for only a few minutes at a time. In some cases, this overactive cycling is due to a thermostat that is no longer sensing the temperature accurately. Since the thermostat is responsible for starting and stopping your air conditioner, a faulty thermostat is most likely the problem.
On the other hand, if you’ve recently had your air conditioner replaced, this frequent cycling could be a sign that your system is too powerful for your home. In other words, the air conditioner has such a large capacity to cool air that it’s cooling your home too quickly, leading to quick shut-offs.
Don’t delay in contacting a professional HVAC technician near you
Now that you understand some of the most common signs of air conditioner problems, the most important takeaway is to avoid delays when you notice any of these symptoms. As mentioned, any of these problems can be serious under the right conditions, meaning delays in repairs could lead to untimely breakdowns that will leave you and your family hot and sweaty. Keep an eye out for these signs. Then, reach out to an AC service technician as soon as you can.