5 Signs That Your AC Is on the Decline

When you turn on the cooling system in your home, you expect it to do its job. An air conditioner, however, is going to show its age eventually. A well-working AC is a must in a city like Burbank, CA. While the summer weather average is in the high 80s, it can easily feel hotter since the city is situated in a valley. At Air Max HVAC, we know how important it is to keep the cooling system operating as close to 100% as possible. Here are five signs that your AC is deteriorating.

1. Hot Air Is Produced Instead of Cold

A cooling unit is supposed to produce cold air. If it ever generates warm or hot air, this is a sign that something is wrong. An AC unit might produce hot air or no cold air because the compressor is no longer working properly. The refrigerant level could also be low. Regular maintenance ensures that the unit is free of debris, especially the air filter. A professional looks for leaks in and outside of the unit. He or she also looks for corrosion in the coil and on other parts.

If you have been keeping up with regular maintenance and the unit is still not producing cold air, it could simply be due to age. This could be a good time to purchase a new system and reap the benefits of a more energy-efficient model.

2. Malfunctioning Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat is a sign that your AC is on the decline, too. With age, the thermostat becomes weak. It can also get stuck on opened or closed. If it is stuck on open, it means that the coolant is always circulating, so the AC’s engine struggles to reach the proper temperature in an efficient manner. The thermostat determines the temperature that the unit is going to reach. When it reaches the desired temperature, it turns off. When the indoor temperature rises again, the thermostat signals that the machine needs to turn on again. If this mechanism can no longer do its job correctly, it needs to be replaced or repaired. In either case, it contributes to the deterioration of the unit.

A well-working thermostat, especially one that includes the latest tech features, allows you to create zones in your home. Zoning is a great way to ensure that your entire home is comfortable. If you only need one room or space to be cooled, you can set up that option, too.

3. Frequent Repairs

The average AC unit has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. When the unit begins to age, it’s not uncommon for it to require repairs. Once the repairs become more frequent, though, it is a sign that the unit is beginning to deteriorate. At this point, you have to weigh the cost of the repairs against the cost to replace the unit altogether. Sometimes, it makes sense to replace the unit. This is especially true if the unit is on the older side.

A new model includes energy-efficient features as well as smart home features. If your home has Wi-Fi and you are a smartphone user, you can take advantage of the newest tech features. You gain the ability to set up your preferences from your phone by using the corresponding app. Even though purchasing a new unit is a significant investment, the improved technology, not to mention the peace of mind, can be well worth it.

Maintenance should be scheduled at least once a year, but the unit should not need constant repairs. When one part is fixed and another fails, it is a signal that the unit is struggling. A unit that is used more frequently is going to cause more wear and tear on the parts. This is why it is so important to keep each one clean, lubricated and topped off. A dirty air filter has a negative impact on the airflow. It can also cause the unit to overheat because the parts are working harder. If the parts are experiencing more stress, they are going to wear out quicker. It also throws off the manufacturer’s specifications. When the unit is not operating at its optimal level, it is not going to deliver the optimal output.

4. Poor Airflow

Proper airflow is an important feature of a cooling system that’s operating at its best. Once you notice the airflow is suffering, it means that the AC unit is deteriorating. A faulty thermostat can lead to poor airflow, but so can fans that are worn out. If your home has an HVAC system that includes ducts, the fans have to be working at 100%. The fans already have to produce enough power to push the air through the vents. If they are working at 75% or even 50%, it means that your home is going to receive even less of the output. Industry professionals believe that up to 25% of the output is already lost through the vents. If the fans are failing, even less output reaches its destination. This causes airflow issues in addition to an increase in your energy bills.

Other factors, such as frozen evaporator coils, blocked ducts and a clogged air filter, can lead to poor airflow. You can find out exactly what is happening by having one of our HVAC technicians conduct a thorough inspection. Your AC may be on the decline, or it may not be. When you call us for an inspection, we’ll take a closer look and then walk you through our findings.

5. Leaks

Leaks are always a bad sign. They also reflect that your AC unit is beginning to deteriorate. Corrosion in the evaporator coils is a common reason why leaks occur in a cooling unit. The coils are where the refrigerant travels as it is turned into a gas and then back to a liquid. As it travels back and forth, it takes its toll on the coils. Some leaks may be inevitable, but they can be pushed off. The best way to ensure that they do not occur anytime soon is to schedule regular maintenance for your cooling system.

When our technicians conduct a thorough inspection, one of the steps they take is to clean the inside and outside of the unit. This involves cleaning up the coils. If they spot what could be the beginning of a leak, our technicians tap into their expertise to patch it up. When the leak cannot be prevented, they will provide cost-effective solutions. One of our jobs is to educate our clients so that they are comfortable with any repairs or replacements we recommend.

With our help, you can remain comfortable in your home even when the weather reaches scorching temperatures outside. In addition to repairing, maintaining and installing AC units, the team at Air Max HVAC can handle indoor air quality checks, ventilation inspections and recommend HVAC products. Contact us today to learn more. We have offices in Burbank, Thousand Oaks and Beverly Hills.

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