4 Signs Your AC Is Not Ready For Summer Heatwaves

The best way to beat summer heat is to turn on your air conditioner, but what if your AC isn’t up to the job? There’s nothing worse than turning the air on and being met with a mediocre breeze when you need an Arctic freeze. If you want to avoid sweaty days and sleepless nights, watch for these four signs that your AC isn’t ready to handle a summer heatwave.

Dirty Filter

Nothing makes your AC work overtime like a clogged, dirty filter. HVAC filters are designed to last a limited amount of time, after which they make it difficult for air to pass through and strain your unit. Check your filter once a month and replace it according to factory recommendations or sooner if it looks dirty. It’s also a good idea to get a new filter before firing up your AC for the first time.

Warm Air

Does the air blowing out of your AC feel lukewarm? A less-than-chilly breeze won’t be able to keep up with the summer heat and is a sure sign that your unit is malfunctioning. First, check the Freon level in your unit. A warm air conditioner usually just needs a little top-up, but if your Freon is fine, the problem is probably your compressor.

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Noisy Operation

You already know that air conditioning doesn’t come without a little noise, but unusual sounds like squealing, squeaking or grinding indicate a problem. Ignoring an odd noise can lead to costly repairs, so call a technician as soon as you notice that something doesn’t sound right. Squealing, for example, is often the first sign of a broken belt, which is an easy fix if caught early but can cause major damage to the inside of the unit if ignored.

High Energy Bill

A sky-high energy bill might mean that the weather has been extra hot, but it can also be a sign that your AC unit is working overtime due to a malfunction. The problem could be as simple as replacing a filter or cleaning the fan or as complex as replacing expensive parts like the compressor, but getting it repaired is likely less expensive than continuing to pay extra on your monthly bill.

Although a poorly functioning AC unit often shows signs, sometimes it just gives out with little warning. You can help prevent sudden AC failure this summer by getting your unit inspected and maintained by a professional before the mercury starts to rise.

Lizzie W: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball. You can find her on Twitter @LizzieWeakley.

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