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What Does a Broken AC Actually Look Like?

What Does a Malfunctioning Air Conditioner Look Like?

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if the AC is broken or it’s just unusually hot. Even air conditioning units that continue to blow cool air may not be working efficiently. High energy bills and distinct smells are a good indication that there’s a problem inside the home.

Sweat Stains

hotA malfunctioning air conditioner may not provide even cooling distribution. This means one room can feel significantly hotter than another. If homeowners find sweat stains in their clothing after leaving the home office, but remain dry in the kitchen this could be a sign of faulty ductwork.

Air ducts transport cool air throughout the entire home, but if they are not well-insulated, this will cause air leaks. This forces the HVAC system to work overtime to produce the desired room temperature. In addition to higher monthly bills, the home rarely stays cool for the entire summer. 

If the home is properly ventilated, air conditioner units should be able to successfully lower the temperature even when it is over 90 degrees. Depending on why the air conditioning is broken, homeowners may be able to fix this themselves by replacing clogged filters or vacuuming on a regular basis.

Higher Energy Bills 

The average electric bill in MI is approximately $100 per month. A sudden increase can point to several issues including extreme weather, additional guests, and HVAC failures. If homeowners keep track of their bills they can examine what was happening during the time of the increase. 

Broken air conditioner components, low refrigerant, lack of maintenance, and age can affect any air conditioner’s efficiency level. If the system is over 15 years old, air conditioning repair jobs may not be worth the money. Air conditioning replacement can be handled quickly so that household members do not have to endure dangerously hot temperatures.

Annual maintenance is recommended for all homeowners regardless if they live in a two-story home or a ranch house. Yearly inspections prevent certain components like the evaporator coils or the blower from damage. Preventative maintenance is less expensive than frequent AC repairs or air conditioning replacement services. 

Nose Plugs

smellThere are 5 main smells that point to a broken AC: Dirty laundry, burned toast, exhaust fumes, garbage, and mold. If homeowners smell rotten eggs, this is due to sulfur and will require the entire household to evacuate. Natural gas leaks need to be handled by professionals.

The dirty laundry smell is usually caused by the condenser. If bacteria grow inside the coils this will give off a dirty sock smell throughout the entire home. If homeowners notice a burning smell this probably means the wiring has caught fire or the motor overheated. 

Exhaust fumes are mostly thought of in conjunction with cars, but air conditioners use the same fluid. Air conditioner fluid is warm and will cause the home to smell like a garage if it begins to leak. Calling a professional is recommended.

Garbage and mildew odors can smell the same. This is an organic scent that could be from rotting animals or mold. Either way these problems can cause health problems such as headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions.

Unusual sounds such as banging, clicking, or popping are also worth noting. This may mean a component is loose or the capacitor is losing charge. A trained HVAC technician is able to assess the entire AC system before making repairs. 

About Airlux Heating & Cooling

Airlux Heating & Cooling is the air conditioning repair and service company Niles, MI homeowners count on. Not only do they offer upfront pricing and same-day availability, but all their work is covered by a 3-year labor warranty for all customers interested in AC replacement or repairs. Contact them today for service!