The more you understand your central air conditioning system, the better your chances will be of catching problems early on. If you don't catch issues in the beginning stages of trouble, then things can get worse. You can end up with more damage, end up with expensive repairs, pay more money out on your cooling expenses, need to replace your system prematurely, and even put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Here are some of the basics on residential air conditioning and spotting repair issues:
Pay attention to the air conditioners noises
You know when your air conditioner kicks on normally that it makes a swooshing sound, so you can ignore this when it happens. However, any sounds you haven't heard before should be cause for concern. While not all of them can indicate the need for repairs, you do want to ignore any unusual sounds since they may mean trouble. One sound you may hear is similar to the swooshing sound, but it can sound louder. This may just mean that a vent in one of the rooms is closed. You want to make sure to open it because shutting a vent can cause pressure problems in the system. Other sounds you may hear that should result in a technician coming out can include whirring, clicking, tapping, grinding, or thudding sounds.
Spot changes in cooling patterns
When your air conditioner comes on, it should do a good job of evenly cooling the home. You may have a trouble area in your home because of a room that gets hit with the afternoon sun. However, this will be something that happens consistently. There is no reason for your AC to suddenly start cooling the home differently. So, if the air conditioning isn't bringing the temperature down the way it should and normally does, then this means it should be looked at because something has changed and is likely in need of repairing.
Catch an increase in your energy bills
Watch your energy bills regularly, because they can also help you to spot air conditioning troubles. Your bills should have a graph on them that compares this year to last year. If not, then you may be able to find this information on your online account. If you see the usage and cost going up from the same time last year, then this can mean that your air conditioner is struggling for some reason or that you have leaks in the system. You want to have someone come out to check the air conditioner and fix anything that's in need of repairs.
If you need more info on AC repair, reach out to an HVAC contractor.