When the first warm day arrives, it's so nice to be able to turn on your air conditioning and enjoy a cooler, more comfortable home. Many homeowners simply set the thermostat to "cool" and don't think much more about it. However, it is a good idea to pay closer attention the first time or two that you run your AC each spring. If you notice any of these problems or behaviors, your AC unit could probably use some repairs. It's wise to call an HVAC contractor and have those repairs made before the weather gets warmer and your AC needs to work even harder.
Whirring or Grinding Noises
Modern AC units are made to be quite quiet. So, if yours is making a grinding, squealing, or whirring noise, something is wrong. Usually, such noises point to an issue with the blower, which is the AC component that actually blows the cooled air into your home's ducts. It's common for blowers to develop worn ball bearings and frayed belts. Luckily, an HVAC contractor can repair both of these problems quite easily. It's a good idea to have this done promptly before the blower motor fails completely, since at that point, repairs will be far more expensive.
Your AC unit is meant to make your home cool, but the unit itself should not get icy and overly cold. If you see what looks like ice or snow building up on the coils, that is not normal. Several different AC problems can cause this reaction. There could be a blockage in a duct, causing cold air to backflow and super-cool the unit. Or, you could have a refrigerant leak, allowing the refrigerant to expand too much and over-cool the unit. Both of these and other issues are fixable, so call your HVAC tech soon.
When the temperatures are more moderate, your AC may not run as often. But it should still stay on for a significant amount of time every time that it does run. If the unit turns on for just a minute or two before turning off, then on again, this behavior is problematic. It often points to a problem with the refrigerant levels or the thermostat wiring. HVAC contractors call this short-cycling.
Spring is a good season to test-run your AC and make sure it is working well. If it demonstrates any of the issues above, it needs repairs. Click here for info on AC repair.