Signs Your Air Conditioner is on Its Last Legs

Summer will be here before you know it, so it’s not too soon to start thinking about your air conditioner. Will your air conditioner make it through another hot Ohio summer? The average life of a central air conditioning system is 10-15 years – if it’s properly maintained. If you are having ongoing issues with your home not being cool enough and requiring constant service calls, it might be time to pull the plug and get a new A/C.  The service team at Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling provides AC repairs as well as complete installation of new systems. We offer same-day service calls, so you don’t have to swelter!

Here are five signs that your A/C needs to be replaced.

  1. The system is not cooling. This symptom is fairly obvious. If your A/C is simply not cooling your home, no matter how many times it’s been repaired, then it’s time to consider replacing it. There could be many reasons why the A/C isn’t working properly. There could be a refrigerant leak, or blocked air ducts or major components, like the compressor, on the brink of failure. The unit may also be the wrong size for your house or is simply at the end of its lifecycle.
  2. Increasing utility bills. If your house doesn’t feel cool, the natural reaction is to lower the thermostat. This causes the AC to run more to try to keep up with demand. Aging units simply can’t keep up. This can result in the lines “freezing” or the compressor burning out. In the long run, your energy bills will keep increasing as your A/C unit continues to age. If you suspect that your bills are higher, review your electric bill and compare usage to last year. If the temperatures were similar and your usage is higher, chances are your A/C unit is starting to decline.
  3. Unpleasant smells. Ideally, your AC unit should be emitting cool air with no noticeable odor. If you smell a burning, smoky odor, then that indicates that a part may be burning out. A musty smell is a sign of mold and is most likely caused by a leak, probably water. Leaking refrigerant has a pungent odor. The substance itself is toxic and any suspected leaks should be checked out as soon as possible.
  4. Strange sounds. Ideally, your air conditioner should sound like ambient noise, just a quiet hum in the background. If you hear unusual sounds like grinding, banging, popping or squealing, those are signs that something isn’t right. These sounds could indicate problems with the coil, compressor or blower. They could also mean there is a leak.
  5. Weak/poor airflow. Your air conditioner should force a strong flow of cold air through your vents. If the air coming from the vents feels warm, there may be a problem with the compressor.  In some cases, replacing the compressor is expensive and depending on the age of the unit, that money may be better spent on a new A/C unit.  If the airflow is weak, any number of things could be happening including a dirty filter, obstructions in the air ducts or an issue with the furnace blower. Poor airflow and ventilation can also aggravate conditions like allergies and asthma.

The professionals at Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling can help you put that tired old A/C unit out of its misery by replacing it with a newer, energy-efficient model. We offer full-service AC installation and can help you make that important decision to replace your central air conditioner. We understand that it’s a major investment and not something to be taken lightly. After installation, we’ll consult with you about a preventive maintenance schedule to keep your AC humming along smoothly and keeping your home cool and comfortable. Call us at 614-681-2167 or schedule an appointment.