For homeowners, one of the biggest headaches is appliance shopping, which often comes after an appliance breaks down for good. During the summer months (especially in hot states like Florida or Texas), an even bigger headache is finding out that your air conditioner needs replacing.
Here are five signs that you – as a homeowner or a renter – should look for to know if your air conditioner is on the decline and to make sure you stay cool in the hot summer months.
- Your house is more humid than usual.
This means that moisture isn’t being removed from the air as well as it once was. Increased humidity in the home can disrupt normal sleep patterns and can also lead to other health issues. A humid 75 degrees is not as comfortable as a dry 75 degrees.
- You turn down the temperature but it doesn’t seem to make any difference.
Sometimes the thermostat that tells the air conditioning unit how warm or cool the inside of your home actually is malfunctions. With a broken thermostat, even as you change the temperature on the device, your home doesn’t seem to cool down or never reaches the desired temperature range.
- The air conditioning unit freezes and you have to thaw it.
When the unit freezes, it doesn’t perform at its optimal levels and can even cause damage to the unit’s compressor. Typically, it means your evaporator coil needs cleaning, which is best managed by a licensed technician. A frozen unit can also signify that you need to change the air filters inside your home.
- The unit is running non-stop.
This could be a sign that your outside unit needs cleaning because the air isn’t properly flowing through the machine due to debris like leaves, sticks or grass. In the summer months, an air conditioner should turn on and off regularly to maintain the temperature; there’s a difference between this and the unit continuously running.
- The unit itself looks worse for wear.
If your outdoor unit is rusted and you notice weak spots on the shell, beware that it can impact the key components your unit needs to keep your home cool.
To keep your house cool and make sure your unit isn’t working overtime, you should keep your blinds shut during the hottest parts of the day. Consider also running a ceiling fan simultaneously with the air conditioner to alleviate some of the pressure on your unit. Having a preventative maintenance plan and semi-annual tune ups from licensed professionals are another great way to make sure you don’t lose your air conditioning during the heat of the summer.
Next up, how to choose a new air conditioner.