With summertime temperatures in Mishawaka, IN hovering in the mid-80s, having a functional air conditioner is a must. In addition to finding and installing the right cooling equipment for your household and home, it’s also important to care for it.

Routine maintenance keeps air conditioners working efficiently. It optimizes humidity control, ensures acceptably high indoor air quality (IAQ), and keeps home cooling costs to a minimum. Read on to discover the top five signs that your AC needs professional maintenance right now.

1. You Haven’t Scheduled Professional Maintenance in More Than One Year

AC manufacturers recommend servicing cooling equipment at least once each year. More importantly, when air conditioners are still covered by their manufacturers’ warranties, AC manufacturers require it. Having your AC tuned up will keep you compliant with the terms of this mutually binding agreement. This way, if your AC ever breaks down due to defective components or faulty assembly, you won’t contend with frustrating claims delays or denials, or unnecessary out-of-pocket spending.

Annual AC maintenance also ensures safe operation. Air conditioners are hardwired directly into residential electrical systems. With regular inspections and timely attention to problems like worn electrical contacts, frequently tripped breakers, and faulty capacitors, homeowners can avoid the risk of electrical shock and electrocution.

During AC tune-up service, we also inspect and calibrate thermostats. Without these visits, you can’t be certain that your thermostat is reading and regulating temperatures accurately. If your home feels hot and stuffy but your thermostat says that it’s cool, scheduling professional maintenance should solve the problem. Thermostat calibration and other maintenance-related tasks provide the greatest benefits when performed annually.

2. Your Air Conditioner’s Output Is Weak, Warm, and Muggy

The surest sign that your air conditioner is ready for maintenance is a warm, weak output at your HVAC air vents. This may mean that your AC is having a hard time moving air through build-ups of dirt and debris.

During each cooling cycle, your air conditioner pushes warm, indoor air over a cold, refrigerant-filled evaporator coil. The refrigerant absorbs this air’s heat and routes it to the compressor for release. When this coil is covered in grime, heat transfer flounders and eventually fails. Unfortunately, your air conditioner’s humidity regulation declines as well.

3. Your AC Is Making Strange Noises and Emitting Foul Smells

Loud sounds during AC operation and the release of musty, pungent odors can both be signs of serious or progressive AC problems. However, more often than not, they simply mean that air conditioners need maintenance.

After sitting dormant for many months, your air conditioner could have massive blooms of algae or bacteria and biofilm blocking its condensate drain. Not only can these build-ups make your home smell bad when your AC is running, but they can also lead to an overflowing drain pan, pooling water, and flooring damage.

Loud, rattling sounds at the outdoor condenser unit may indicate loose or completely detached parts. During annual AC maintenance, we look for problems like bent or broken fan blades, weak, worn, and loose bearings, and more. We also lubricate moving parts to minimize friction, wear, and operational noise.

Another common cause of unpleasant odors and strange sounds is pest infestation. Your outdoor condenser or HVAC air ducts could be home to insects, rodents, or other critters. In addition to leaving pathogenic detritus behind, pests can cause serious structural and functional damage. With tune-up service, you can identify developing pest problems before they’ve spiraled out of control.

4. Your Home Cooling Costs Are on the Rise

If your first energy bill of the summer takes you by surprise, insufficient AC maintenance could be the culprit. According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), HVAC use accounts for about half of the average household’s energy consumption. If you haven’t made major alterations to your living space, increased the size of your family, or added new appliances, your air conditioner could be using far more energy than it did before. Although decreased performance and efficiency are sometimes age-related, tune-up service could be all that’s necessary for ensuring modest, manageable energy bills.

5. Your AC Is Short Cycling

When properly sized for their environments and correctly installed, air conditioners typically run two to three cooling cycles each hour, with each cooling cycle lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. If your air conditioner turns on and runs for just two to three minutes before cycling back down, it may have build-ups on its evaporator and condenser coils that are inhibiting heat transfer or major airflow obstructions. From changing HVAC air filters to ensuring adequate clearance around the outside condenser unit, we optimize airflow throughout entire HVAC systems during AC maintenance service.

We can help you optimize the performance of your air conditioner with top-notch AC maintenance service. We proudly serve Mishawaka, IN with expert heating, cooling, and plumbing services. We also provide advanced indoor air quality improvements, drain cleaning, and ductless mini-split systems. To schedule an appointment, contact Tyler’s Heating & Cooling now.

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