Air conditioning units are a total lifesaver when summer months bring scorching weather. But your enjoyment of fresh, cold air is only as good as the machine providing it.
And the last thing you want is to be caught off guard by an AC unit that suddenly breaks down on you.
So it’s crucial that you know the signs of when you need a new AC unit.
That way, you can stay ahead of the game, and be prepared to either repair or replace your AC unit before it dies on you in the middle of a heatwave.
In this post, I’ve listed the top 10 signs that you need to get a new AC unit right away. That way, you’ll be well aware of any symptoms your unit is showing and can be proactive.
Sound good? Keep reading to find out more!
Warm Air Flowing Through the Room
This one is probably a no brainer. You bought your AC unit so that you’d have consistently cool air blowing throughout whatever rooms you have connected to it.
So what you’re not looking for is a less appealing version of that, aka warm air.
If your unit, especially in the warm months, seems to be unable to blow cool air, it’s probably a sign that it’s on its last legs.
Consider having an HVAC technician come look at it right away for repair or replacement with a new HVAC system.
Lack of Air from the Vents
Another less clear cut problem happens when you have cold air coming out, but there isn’t much of it.
It can be tempting to think the AC unit is fine since the air temperature is what it’s supposed to be. But cold air that doesn’t actually circulate around the room isn’t going to do you much good.
Sure, the area surrounding the unit will be cold, but that’s about it. Most likely this is a sign that your AC’s compressor is on the fritz. It also might mean you have issues with your air ducts.
Funky Smells From the AC Unit
Sometimes you have to use your other senses to notice when your AC unit isn’t working. If your sense of smell is assaulted by a weird odor when you turn on your AC unit, you’ve got a problem.
If it’s a moldy smell, it’s likely a sign you have mold in the unit or the surrounding ductwork. And since mold can make you and your loved ones sick, it’s definitely a sign you want to get a new unit.
If the smell is more pungent, it probably has to do with the wire insulation in the unit that has been burned.
Freon Leaks Near the Unit
Freon is a great chemical when it’s on the inside of your AC unit because it helps the cooling process. However, when it leaks outside the unit, it’s an issue.
Freon is poisonous, so if you ever see some leaking outside, call a technician right away.
A Strangely Large Electric Bill
You should expect your electric bill to fluctuate during different parts of the year, based on your energy usage.
But if you suddenly have a huge leap in your bill that doesn’t align with how much you’ve been using your AC unit, then that’s a cause for alarm.
There are several potential causes of this problem, like a broken thermostat switch or an aging unit. But it will need to be repaired or replaced for sure.
Too Much Humidity Inside the House
In addition to cooling the air in your house, an AC unit’s job is also to help with humidity reduction.
So if you are running your AC unit, and still feeling a significant amount of moisture in the air inside your house, it could be a sign that the unit is failing on you.
The Thermostat Is Wonky
Think of the thermostat on your AC unit as its brain. The unit relies on the accuracy of the thermostat to know how to do its job.
So if your thermostat isn’t gauging the status of the AC, or accurately measuring the internal temperature of the inside air, it means the AC can’t run properly.
Signs of this include the AC unit not turning on, or only running briefly before shutting off.
Loud Noises in the Unit
This is another obvious one. If the AC unit starts making weird noises, it’s obviously a sign that something is off.
If it’s grinding, scraping, or squealing, you’ve got an issue on your hands. It could mean that parts have slipped out of place. And loose pieces can also damage other pieces.
So it’s only a matter of time before it shuts down completely.
It’s Frequently in Need of Repair
Some of these issues can be addressed by repairs at first. But if you find that your AC unit is constantly having different (or the same) issues over and over, it’s probably a sign that you need to replace it.
And the reality is that the cost of a new unit will likely be less than all the repairs you’ll have to make going forward. Plus if you get an energy-efficient unit to replace an older model, you’ll save on utility bills as well.
It’s More Than 10-15 Years Old
If you really want to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate needing a new AC unit, you can go strictly by age. AC units are designed to run efficiently for around 10-15 years.
So if you know your unit is older than that, you should consider having it replaced. Even if there aren’t issues, you should know that there will likely be some soon.
So take action and you’ll avoid having any times when your AC is out and you’re sweating through the day and night!
Signs You Need a New AC Unit
Hopefully, this list of 10 signs you need a new AC unit will help you stay cool in the hot summer months.
And for other tips for how to beat the heat this summer, check out this blog