Repair or Replace: 4 Common Signs of a Broken AC Unit

broken ac unit
Posted on in Blog

The average life expectancy of an air conditioning (AC) unit in 15 to 20 years in America if they are regularly maintained.  

But for most people "regular maintenance" is simply calling an HVAC company when something is wrong (which actually decreases your unit's lifespan to only 10 years). 

If you're still on the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" maintenance plan there are glaringly obvious signs that it's time for a repair. Like air not coming out of the unit or warm air.

But there are a few more signs to look for in a broken AC unit.

Strange Sounds 

Before you call a paranormal team to investigate the weird noises you've been hearing, you might want to check your AC unit. Many unusual sounds can come from a broken AC unit. 

We've heard everything from squeals, buzzes, whistling and banging. Any noticeably loud sound coming from your AC unit is usually the symptom of a serious problem. This could be anything from loose machinery to a default in the cooling system.

Bad Smells 

You won't notice a smell from a properly functioning AC unit. If you're noticing a new smell coming from your AC unit it's a sign that a repair is needed. Burnt wires and mold are two of the most common culprits for unpleasant smells. 

If your AC unit is giving off odors reminiscent of a high school locker room, it could be suffering from “Dirty Sock Syndrome.” This is foul odor caused by thriving colonies bacteria and mold on your evaporator coil that could cause serious health risks. 

Is it Humid in Here? 

If you've noticed that your home has felt more humid than usual, it could be a sign that you need an AC repair. Your AC unit is built to condense and collect water molecules from the air as it passes through your system. Removed water is drained, leaving the air in your home dry. 

If your home feels more humid, it could mean that this core function is malfunctioning. There could be a problem with your evaporator coil, your unit could need recalibration or your unit could simply be aging. 

Don't spend money on dehumidifying appliances before getting an AC tune-up.  

Raising Costs 

If your energy bill has increased suddenly and there hasn't been a significant lifestyle change in your household, you may need to repair or replace your AC unit.

There are dozens of ways an AC unit failure can cause your utility bill to increase. Torn ducts, blockages, and water leaks are just a few. 

Broken AC Unit? 

As we mentioned before, the best approach for a broken AC unit is by sticking to a regular maintenance schedule. Unplanned, emergency service repairs can cost thousands of dollars and are exponentially more expensive than simply having an AC unit serviced regularly. 

Have questions? Click here to schedule an appointment or to get in touch!