It’s been a soggy past couple of weeks in the Greater LA area, so it understandable if air conditioning isn’t on the top of your mind. But rest assured, warmer weather is on the way.
Is your AC prepared?
Now is the time to determine if your HVAC system is capable of providing reliable comfort throughout the spring and summer months. Pay close attention to how your system is operating. If you notice any of the following red flags, you should have your central air unit inspected by a professional.
It’s Making Strange Noises
A healthy air conditioning system will operate quietly. If you hear anything out of the ordinary, it could be a sign of a loose or disconnected part or something more severe such as a refrigerant leak. Either way, banging, clanking, buzzing, and squealing suggest something is wrong. Have an HVAC technician investigate unusual noises as soon as possible.
Your Bills are Through the Roof
Your HVAC system may be to blame for the sudden spikes in your electrical bills. Several factors could be hindering your system’s performance, causing it to draw more electricity.
Dirty filter: A clogged air filter will strain the blower motor. Change out the filter every 30 days to ensure your system operates properly.
Duct leaks: Gaps in your ductwork will force your AC system to work harder to distribute air evenly throughout your home. All that extra effort will be reflected in your energy bill. An HVAC pro can assess the condition of your ducts to determine whether or not they should be replaced.
Failing equipment: The capacitors, condenser coil, and compressor can wear out over time. If your system manages to limp along with, say, a struggling condenser motor, it won’t pull heat out of your home effectively. The cooling process will take much longer, resulting in a steep energy bill.
It Smells Bad
As a rule, your AC shouldn’t produce any noticeable odors. If you’re catching a whiff of something while the system’s running, you have cause for concern.
A burning smell: This could be due to an overheating motor, wiring issue, or other mechanical malfunction. Turn your system off at the breaker box right away and contact an HVAC professional.
Stinky socks: If your HVAC system smells like gym socks that haven’t been washed since 8th grade PE, you probably have dirty evaporator coils or a clogged condensate drain. Professional cleaning is part of a routine tune-up, which should eliminate the odor.
A musty odor: Smells of mildew and mold suggest there’s excessive moisture within your HVAC unit. Mold spores may be circulating through your air, so in addition to a tune-up, consider having your indoor air quality tested.
It’s Not Cooling Like it Used To
If your AC system isn’t doing its job, it either needs maintenance, or it should be replaced entirely.
If your central air unit is more than 15 years old, you might be better off upgrading to a new energy-efficient model, especially if it has required multiple repairs over the years.
Today’s HVAC systems include energy-saving features such as variable-speed motors, which more precisely control airflow for increased efficiency and comfort. Modern air conditioning systems also boast higher SEER ratings (that’s the seasonal energy efficiency ratio). In short, the higher a model’s SEER, the more energy it saves. Top-of-the-line units have a SEER rating of 18 or higher.Here’s the bottom line: If your current system is performing well, schedule a tune-up, or better yet, sign up for our Cool Club Membership, to ensure that it continues to do so. If it’s sluggish and exhibiting some of the symptoms described above, let RR Electric, Heating & Air inspect it so that we can recommend the right solutions for you. To schedule an appointment, call (805) 900-0123.