Heat-induced illnesses are some of the deadliest weather-related health conditions. So much so that they claimed the lives of 702 people in the US from 2004 to 2018. At the very least, exposure to high temperatures can cause heat rash, cramps, or exhaustion.
As such, experts recommend seeking refuge in air-conditioned areas during hot days.
That should be a good enough reason not to delay getting AC repair services if yours starts to act up. Otherwise, it may completely break down in the middle of a scorching day. If this happens, your home may become all oven-like, and you can be at risk of heat illnesses.
So, to keep such threats at bay, make sure to call a repair tech as soon as your AC exhibits the following symptoms.
1. No Signs of Life
If only your AC turns off (everything else still runs), you might have a tripped circuit breaker. Check your electrical panel to ensure the switch for the AC is set to the ON position.
If it’s on the ON position, you might be dealing with a damaged AC component. Before you touch anything, turn off your main electrical switch first. Do note that electrical shock accidents are quite common in the US, occurring at a rate of 30,000 cases a year.
In any case, here are some of the parts you should examine if your AC shows no signs of life.
Once you’ve turned the power off, take a closer look at your AC’s electrical cord. Look for signs of frayed wires or dented plug pins. If you see any of these, you no doubt need air conditioner repair.
The good news is that power cords are widely available spare AC parts. You might be able to save money by buying a replacement cable online. You can then ask an HVAC technician to use the cord you bought so that you only have to pay them for labor.
Most thermostats act as the main power control of most air conditioners. However, their primary use is to function as the temperature control center of your AC.
Thermostats dictate the temperature or cooling level you want from your air conditioner. It also monitors the room’s temperature to ensure that it’s within your desired level.
So, if your thermostat stops working, you likely won’t be able to turn it on, much less make it cool the air. You might only have to change the batteries, but if it’s a wired thermostat, you may have to get its internals fixed. You can also replace your old one with a programmable, or better yet, a smart thermostat.
2. Poor Airflow or No Air at All
Inside your air conditioner is a fan powered by a motor. These two work in tandem to blow air over the unit’s cold evaporator coils.
If residue, such as dirt and debris, forms on the fan blades or the hub, you can expect the fan to work inefficiently. It may not even rotate at all. Filth build-up within the AC can also result in an overheated, or worse, dead motor.
Do note that your AC can still power on even if it has a faulty fan or a dead blower motor. So, if your AC has weak airflow or doesn’t produce any cold air at all, be sure to turn the entire system off. Then, call a local provider of air conditioning services to have your unit fixed.
3. Drips and Leaks from the Air Conditioner
Air conditioners cool the air by absorbing the heat from warm air. Warm air, in turn, contains moisture. This moisture then condenses once the air touches the AC’s cold evaporator coils.
That condensation process results in the formation of water droplets. This is where your air conditioner’s drain pan or tray comes into play: it catches those droplets. From there, it channels the collected water into a drainpipe, which leads to the outside of your home.
So, if you’ve noticed dripping water from your AC, it may be due to a faulty drain pan or pipe. Either component may have developed cracks and holes that allow water to seep out.
Fortunately, sealants can still fix minor damages on drain trays and pipes. If the damage is too big, though, it would be best to replace the entire thing.
4. Hissing Sounds
Hissing or bubbling sounds are common signs of leaking refrigerant lines. This is a potentially dangerous air conditioning problem, as it can cause poisoning. You should turn your AC off as soon as you hear these noises and phone your local AC repair tech right after.
If your air conditioner is 10 years or older, you should think about getting an AC replacement. Older cooling systems still use Freon, a type of R-22 refrigerant. The EPA has phased out its production and importation.
That means existing R-22 supplies will become scarcer, and therefore, more expensive. So, you might have to spend hundreds of dollars just to get your AC’s R-22 recharged. That’s why a replacement makes more sense in this case.
5. Burning Smells
An estimated 361,500 residential fires occurred in the US in 2019. Some of these were a result of electrical malfunctions. Faulty air conditioners, which use a lot of electricity, can therefore be a fire hazard.
An AC can trigger a fire if it develops wiring issues, such as in the case of a frayed power cable. However, these wiring defects can also occur from within, such as in the AC motor. Either way, these issues can make your AC produce burning odors.
If you smell something smoky coming out of your AC, shut it off as soon as you can. Then, get in touch with your local air conditioner repair tech, who can safely diagnose and fix your unit.
Prompt AC Repair Can Be a Life Saver
An air conditioner can be your saving grace when temperatures soar past 90 degrees. However, it can have the opposite effect if you let it go into disrepair, and it starts leaking out chemicals. At the very least, it won’t be able to do its job of cooling you down if it fails to power on or blow cold air.
So, always be on the lookout for these signs that you need AC repair services.
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