How Do I Know if My Air Conditioner Needs Maintenance?

Air conditioners are crucial during hot and humid Michigan summers. As a valuable part of your HVAC system, it’s important to perform regular AC maintenance. But how do you know when it's time to schedule service?

In this blog, we'll explore common signs your air conditioner needs maintenance, giving you time to address small issues before they become major problems.

  • High energy bills
  • Insufficient cooling
  • Strange noises or smells
  • Frequent on/off cycling
  • Water leaks

Preventive maintenance is always better than dealing with sudden breakdowns or extensive damage. By paying attention to the signs mentioned above, you can identify when your air conditioner needs maintenance and take appropriate action.

Curious about how much AC maintenance costs? Check out our blog, “Cost of an AC Tune-Up in Michigan.”

Want to keep AC bills low this summer and avoid costly repairs? Schedule a $79 tune-up with Thornton & Grooms!

Since 1937, Thornton & Grooms has helped Michigan homeowners decrease their energy costs and extend the lifespan of their heating and cooling systems. Schedule a 19-point AC tune-up and our expertly trained technicians will perform a thorough inspection and cleaning of your air conditioner. You can call us at (248) 644-7810 or click below to schedule online today!

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High Energy Bills

Does it seem like your cooling bills are higher than in previous summers? If your usage patterns haven’t changed, it’s probably because your air conditioner isn’t operating as efficiently.

For example, factors such as dirty coils, clogged filters, or inadequate refrigerant levels can cause your AC to work harder to cool your home, resulting in increased energy consumption. As the system struggles to reach and maintain your desired temperature, it requires more energy to operate, leading to higher energy bills.

Regular maintenance can help to ensure that your AC system runs at peak performance, saving energy and reducing costs.

Insufficient Cooling

Is your air conditioner struggling to keep up with your cooling demands? If you notice weakened airflow, it could be a sign that the unit needs maintenance. There are several reasons why this issue happens:

  • Dirty evaporator coils. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on your AC’s evaporator coils (the critical component in your AC system that facilitates the transfer of cool air). When these coils get dirty, their ability to absorb heat gets reduced, which then limits the flow of cool air.
  • Clogged air filters. Air filters play a vital role in trapping dust, dirt, allergens, and other particles from circulating in your home. However, these filters can quickly become clogged with debris, restricting the airflow passing through them. As a result, your air conditioner has to work harder to pull in sufficient air, leading to decreased efficiency.
  • Issues with the blower motor. Your AC’s blower motor is responsible for circulating cooled air throughout your home. If it malfunctions or becomes worn out, it may not operate at its intended speed or fail to generate sufficient airflow. This can result in reduced air circulation and a decline in cooling efficiency.

During an AC tune-up, an HVAC technician will typically clean crucial components like the evaporator coil and blower motor, as well as inform you if air filters need to be replaced.

Strange Noises or Smells

Unusual noises coming from your air conditioner, such as grinding, squealing, or banging sounds, are often an indication that something is amiss. These noises could be caused by loose components, a failing motor, or worn-out belts. While your AC may still continue to operate, it’s important to address potential problems before they lead to a breakdown.

In addition to strange noises, if your air conditioner emits unpleasant odors when it's running, it could be a sign of mold or mildew growth inside the unit or ductwork. Proper maintenance, including cleaning and sanitizing the system, can help eliminate the source of the odor and ensure fresh, clean air circulation.

Frequent On/Off Cycling

Have you noticed your AC turning on and off frequently? Commonly known as “short cycling,” this tends to happen when your AC is too big for the space it is trying to cool, leading to quick temperature fluctuations and frequent cycling. However, other causes may also be at play, which can only be investigated during AC maintenance.

For example, you may have a malfunctioning thermostat, refrigerant leak, or electrical issues such as a faulty compressor. These can all result in short-cycling, but you won’t know for sure without a professional inspection.

During an AC tune-up, an expertly trained HVAC technician can help identify and resolve the root cause of short-cycling, ensuring your system operates efficiently and reliably.

Water Leaks

Have you noticed water leaking from your AC? Water leaks often occur due to a blocked or damaged condensate drain line, which is responsible for removing excess moisture from the system. When the drain line becomes clogged or damaged, water can accumulate and overflow, resulting in water leaks around the unit.

In any case, water leaks are a clear sign that maintenance is needed. Ignoring water leaks can lead to potential water damage, including structural issues and mold growth. So, you don’t want to overlook it. Schedule a tune-up and enjoy peace of mind that your AC is functioning safely and at optimal performance.

Want AC maintenance that delivers exceptional value? Contact Thornton & Grooms today!

Don't wait for problems to arise—schedule a comprehensive AC tune-up today. Our skilled technicians will meticulously clean and optimize your air conditioner's components, including coils, filters, and condensers. By removing built-up dirt and debris, your AC will have improved airflow and energy efficiency. This means you can enjoy lower energy bills and better cooling comfort all summer long. Call us at (248) 644-7810 or schedule online today!

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