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Commander Air Inc. Blog

Signs That Your AC Needs Service Sooner Rather Than Later


There’s a lot of juggling that goes on in life. Sometimes, it seems like there’s no way to get through the day without dropping the ball on something. Maybe the best we can do in our busiest times is try not to drop the same ball too many days in a row.

When it comes to things needing repair around the home, it can be hard to gauge how urgent the need is. Can you safely postpone getting AC service? Or will a delay in AC repair lead to a major breakdown? Here’s what you should know.

Any Delay Is a Gamble

There are plenty of air conditioner issues that are less urgent than others. But how can you tell the difference? Also, many small problems can lead to much bigger ones if they’re not addressed. Say, for example, you hear a squeaky noise. That’s not too bad, right? But what if the squeak is because the belt connecting the fan to the motor is slipping out of position? It’s just squeaking now, but the belt flying loose, potentially smashing fan blades or damaging the motor, could lead to a major repair and components needing to be replaced.

Certain Issues Are Extremely Critical

The one component of your air conditioner that generally can’t be replaced—or at least, isn’t worth replacing for an aging AC unit because it’s such an expensive part—is the compressor. So your highest-priority concerns should be those that might indicate a compressor problem or those that could lead to putting extra strain on the compressor. Here are some things to watch for.

  • Tripping the Circuit Breaker: Don’t just keep resetting a circuit breaker that your air conditioner is tripping. The unit suddenly calling for enough power to overtax your electrical system is a sign that something’s going on with the compressor.
  • Hard Starting: If the cooling cycle comes on with a bang instead of a hum, it’s called hard starting. You might just need to have the capacitor replaced, but don’t let it continue, because it’s very rough on the compressor.
  • Short Cycling: This refers to the cooling cycle starting and stopping every few moments, rather than every fifteen minutes or more. There are a variety of possible causes, such as an overheating motor or a refrigerant leak. The startup is the part of the cycle that puts the most strain on the compressor, and starting up much more often risks the compressor’s wellbeing.
  • Clicking: If you hear clicking as the compressor kicks on at the start of the cooling cycle, it’s a sign of an electrical problem, probably with the relay or capacitor. These parts are easy to replace, and extremely inexpensive compared to a compressor or a whole AC system, so get prompt air conditioning service in Pensacola, FL

Reducing the Risk of Future Repairs

To give your air conditioner the best chance of a long life with as few repairs as possible, there are a few things you can do. First, change your AC air filter every month during the times when the air conditioning is running every day, and at least every third month during more occasional use. Second, make sure the area around the outdoor unit, which houses the compressor, is free of debris like leaf litter and that plants are not crowding around it. And third, schedule maintenance for your air conditioner every year, so it can be cleaned and lubricated, and all components can be checked for minor issues that could develop into significant repair needs.

Contact the team at Commander Air Inc. Your hometown heating and cooling specialist for three generations.

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