When the summer air outside is so warm that it feels like someone is constantly pointing a cheap hairdryer in your face, opening windows to encourage a draught offers little relief. In 30-degree heat, ceiling fans are no more useful than the fan in the back of your oven; they just spread the heat around and make you cook faster. Only a quality air conditioner can offer over-heating Australians guaranteed access to a cool breeze.
So, if you’re already the proud owner of an air conditioning unit, then you probably don’t want to attempt to survive summer without it. Therefore, it’s important to stay attuned to whether or not your air conditioner could do with tuning. No clue? No worries! Here are 5 basic signs that it’s time for an air conditioner service…
#1 Poor Airflow
While this might seem too obvious to be overlooked, subtle changes in the airflow your air conditioner is producing can be deceptively difficult to detect. The key here is to pay attention to what you deem normal for your device and be aware of any changes in its status quo. If you find yourself needing to increase the fan speed more often, then it might be a sign that your air filter is clogged and needs to be cleaned or replaced. Ignoring this will not only impact on the quality of airflow in your home, but it could also add significantly to your monthly power bill. Furthermore, excess dust clogging up your air filter could have health repercussions by exacerbating respiratory issues and hay fever symptoms.
While most people will feel comfortable cleaning or replacing the air filter in their air conditioning unit themselves, it’s best to contact a licensed technician if you have any questions or concerns. If you’ve only recently decided to get air conditioning, be sure to ask the professionals for tips on how to locate and repair the air filter in your particular unit.
If you’re experiencing issues with turning your air conditioner on or a discrepancy with indoor and outdoor temperatures, then the thermostat could be to blame. In this instance, it could mean that the thermostat is excessively dusty or dirty, that its batteries have died, or that there is a wiring issue (caused by corrosion or fraying, or it becoming disconnected). In any case, this type of issue is best left to the professionals!
#3 Odours and Excess Humidity
If a peculiar smell is wafting its way into your home, it could be a sign that your air conditioning unit needs to be serviced. The cause of the problem could be a number of things, but the specific scent being produced could help you to determine the underlying problem.
If the odour can only be described as something having crawled into your air ducts and died, then there’s a good chance that something has crawled into your air ducts and died. Small insects and rodents are common culprits, as they like to curl up in warm areas. Sometimes the animal will have made its way directly inside of the air ducts, and other times they might have just been in the walls or attic, but the stench particles have congregated and contaminated your home’s airflow. Either way, it’s worth calling in experts in both air conditioner repair and pest removal to take a look.
A much more common cause of strange smells is poor drainage. Air conditioning units are designed to remove humidity from your home, and – if the moisture in the air is not drained properly – it can cause mildew or mould to grow. This will cause dampness in your home, which often targets windows and curtains, and walls that don’t get much natural sunlight (i.e. wardrobes or cupboards). Mildew not only reeks, but it can also wreak havoc in your home, so if you suspect that your air conditioner isn’t draining properly, you should seek advice from a professional as soon as possible.
#4 Strange Sounds
If your air conditioner is producing a strange noise when you turn it on or off, that’s its way of telling you something is wrong. Chances are that the fan blower or blade is malfunctioning, which can sometimes be fixed by some screw tightening or lubricating. You might feel comfortable doing this yourself, and the cost to you could be minimal. (Just remember to turn the machine off before inspecting the fan blades, or it could literally end up costing you an arm or a leg!)
Worst-case scenario? The fan is beyond repair and needs replacing. Call your local air conditioning experts for a quote.
A leaky air conditioner is (literally) crying out for attention. The problem could be caused by a refrigeration leak, which is potentially harmful to you and your home and should be repaired promptly. It’s important to note that just topping up the refrigerant fluid is not an appropriate solution.
Other potential causes of leaks include improper installation, poor drainage, clogged air filters, and blockages in the air tubes or drain channels. If you’re not able to determine which of these issues might be plaguing your machine, it’s best to get someone in to take a look.
When you install air conditioning in your property, you are adding value to that property, both in terms of its resale value, and in terms of how livable it is. Nothing will depreciate that value quicker than neglecting to care for your air conditioner through proper maintenance or response to malfunctions. Much like cars or computers, air conditioners are complex mechanisms that occasionally require repairs in order to achieve their optimum functionality. Just like you shouldn’t ignore an engine light on your dashboard, or a laptop’s inability to retain charge, you shouldn’t ignore your air conditioner if it shows signs of something being wrong.