A reliable air conditioner is an essential part of any Aussie home. By the time the hot summer season swings around, we all trust that our beloved air cons will once again get us through the scorching heat. But, sadly, all good things must come to an end, and the same goes for even the most trusted of cooling systems.
Eventually, the time will come where your air con just isn’t performing like it used to. The symptoms of a unit reaching its expiration date aren’t hard to spot, but it’s important to pay attention to them. Otherwise, you’ll risk being left high and dry when your AC goes belly-up on a 40 degree day!
Here are the top warning signs that it’s time to replace your air conditioner.
Temperature Settings Don’t Match Up
A common indication that your air con is on its last legs is inconsistent temperature performance. A healthy system will consistently deliver its set temperature. If your air con is wavering above and below the desired climate, it’s definitely not a good sign.
Alternatively, your unit may just forgo cool or hot air altogether. It may still be producing a steady airflow, however, the air is not conditioned as it should be. This may be a sign of low refrigerant levels. If your unit stops producing the desired temperature all together, it is definitely time for an upgrade.
The Airflow Isn’t Up to Scratch
A red flag for a doomed cooling system is poor airflow. If there is minimal air coming out of the vents while your air con is in use, be prepared for some bad news. This could be an indication that your system’s compressor is running out of steam. If you have set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature with little to no payoff, then your system is not performing at its best.
You can perform a basic check yourself to find the root of the problem. Conduct a minor inspection of the vents, ductwork and filters to see if you can spot any airflow blockages. If there are no obvious obstructions, it’s time to contact a professional technician. But be wary, a new air con may be the best solution.
Your Unit Won’t Stop Leaking
For some air conditioner models, a small amount of water dripping around the exterior unit is not a huge cause for concern. However, if this leaking makes its way indoors, it may spell trouble. If you do notice a significant leak around your indoor unit, you should call a licensed professional right away. This is a potential safety risk, as water and electricity are a dangerous combination.
Refrigerant is the main liquid inside your air conditioning system. This substance contains dangerous chemicals that can have a severe impact on your health if in any way consumed. The refrigerant in your air conditioner is both tasteless and odourless. It can be difficult to identify, and so it’s hard to tell if your leaking system is putting you at risk. This is why you should contact an air con technician if you spot a leak. They will be able to safely identify the source of the leak, and let you know if a new system is the best way to go.
Your Air Con Switches Off at Random
If you have a non-inverter air conditioning unit, then your system switching on and off to maintain the set temperature is a normal occurrence. However, if your AC starts to switch itself off at random before the desired climate has been reached, you’ve got an issue.
An air conditioning unit that is irregularly turning on and off could be malfunctioning. This inconsistent regulation will put your air con under a lot of additional stress, which will eventually cause it to kick the bucket. An air conditioning technician may be able to help, but it also may be time for a fresh cooling start.
It’s Letting Out Strange Noises and Smells
Over time you’ll become accustomed to the noise your air con makes when in use. This sound should blend seamlessly into the background of your home life. If your air conditioning unit ever starts making strange sounds outside the norm, you should be able to notice it instantly. And, when you do, you should act fast.
Minor noises typically shouldn’t be too much cause for concern. This could just indicate a loose part inside the unit, dust or dirt buildup, or that the fan needs minor repairs. However, if the noise is more alarming, such as a screeching, ticking or rattling sound, it’s likely a more serious problem.
This also applies to any strange smells coming from your air conditioning system. Bad smells from your cooling unit are not something to sleep on. They could mean that an air conditioner replacement is around the corner, whether it be because of insulation damage or mouldy ductwork. Unclean ducts can circulate contaminated air through your home and put the health of your household at risk. You may just need a new air filter, or it could be time to replace your air conditioning unit altogether.