During the early summer, you might be ready to switch your air conditioner on to ward off those stuffy evenings upstairs in your home. Unfortunately, if your air conditioner doesn't seem to be switching on or keeping up with the demand for cooled air, it might be time to reevaluate your methods. Here are three things it might be time to do if your air conditioner isn't working.
1. Inspect Your Thermostat
You never know who tried to switch on the heat during the winter, and sometimes, people accidentally touch controls that could affect your system's functionality in the summer. For instance, if a well-meaning family member accidentally adjusted the date and time on your thermostat, your air conditioner might not be switching on and off when it should, causing problems.
If your AC unit doesn't appear to be working properly, start by checking your thermostat. Make sure the date and time are correct and that your system is scheduled to cool your home instead of heat it. Also, dust out the inside of your thermostat to get rid of dirt buildup that could be altering the functionality of the internal thermometer.
Keep in mind that changes to your home can also impact your thermostat. For instance, if you have recently changed curtains in your home or added a window or two during a renovation, the new sunlight or air drafts could alter the ambient temperature around your thermostat, making it turn on or off more frequently.
If your thermostat seems to be in decent shape and turning on and off when it should, the problem could lie in your unit itself. However, keep a close eye on your thermostat during summer to make sure the unit is operating like it should be.
2. Sign Up for a Maintenance Contract
Air conditioners are just like any other home appliance, which means they need a certain amount of maintenance to stay in tip-top condition. Over time, dust and debris can build up on the air handler coils that provide the cooling power for your unit, making the system less effective.
Various moving components of your air conditioner can also become hopelessly worn over time, causing excess noise or even completely shutting down your system. Fortunately, some HVAC companies offer ongoing maintenance contracts to keep your system in great shape.
If you tend to have problems with your air conditioner and you don't like doing HVAC maintenance on your own, ask your local HVAC company if they offer service contracts. During service visits, HVAC professionals will carefully inspect your air conditioner for issues and then repair certain damaged parts. Service contracts also typically include yearly preparation for your air conditioner to run, which help to prevent emergencies during the hot summer months.
3. Replace Your Entire System
Unfortunately, even the most vigilant maintenance isn't enough to keep a dying air conditioner in check. Air conditioners typically last between 15 and 20 years, which means a system that is older than that might not be worth resurrecting - even if it's possible.
As a general rule of thumb, experts recommend multiplying the estimated cost of repairs by the number of years old your system is. If the total exceeds $5,000, you should consider investing the money into a new unit instead of trying to repair your old system.
In addition to cooling your home more efficiently, newer air conditioners are typically designed to use less power and make less noise during operation, helping your home environment to stay a little more comfortable.
Deciding what to do with your dated AC unit isn't always easy, which is why our team is here to help. Here at AC Technical Services, LLC., we help homeowners with everything from emergency service to ongoing maintenance plans to keep their systems in great condition. To learn more about how we can help, give us a call today.