Just because your car gets you someplace doesn’t mean it is operating properly. It may have tires that are low, causing poor mileage. Low oil or coolant levels may be creating excessive heat that is damaging your engine. The same is true for your A/C system. Just because the air in your home is cooler than the air outside does not mean it is operating properly. Before calling for residential AC service, you may want to know how to check your air conditioner units to determine if they are working properly. Here are 7 signs you may have a developing issue with your Chicago area residential A/C.

  1. Utility bills are rising. While it is possible your electric bill is rising because outside temperatures are increasing, they may also be rising because your A/C unit is not functioning efficiently. This can be caused by a variety reasons including clogged air filters or too much dirt and debris on a condenser coil. There may also be vegetation “crowding” your outside unit. It is simple to check and change air filters and trim overgrowing vegetation. Condenser coils should be thoroughly cleaned by a professional.
  2. You have to set your thermostat lower to stay cool. If you find yourself setting your thermostat lower and lower to stay comfortable you likely have a developing problem. This too can be the result of lack of air flow or even a fan motor that may not be performing properly. It is also possible that your home is retaining too much moisture. An A/C professional can help determine the source of your issue.
  3. Does your unit operate for lengthy or short periods of time? A/C systems are not designed to operate constantly, nor are they designed to run frequently for short periods of time. If you notice that your A/C is running far too often or is short cycling, you have a problem that needs to be addressed. This can be a fan motor or relay issue, thermostat problem or may be another result of poor air flow.
  4. Your system is beginning to make strange sounds and noises. Like your car, it is easy for you to quickly get used to new noises your A/C unit makes. This is why if you hear an odd noise you should call for A/C service promptly, otherwise, you may just ignore a developing, costly problem.
  5. The A/C does not go on at all. If your air conditioner stops working altogether, it may have lost power. If it is a wall, plug-in unit, check the plug. If it is a whole house system, the circuit breaker may have tripped. You can reset the breaker easy enough, but if it trips again, you likely have some sort of a short in your A/C system. Call a professional for a/c service. If you still have power to the unit but it is not operating, check the thermostat to make sure it is properly set.
  6. Certain rooms are not cooling properly. This is often the result of poor airflow. Make sure intake vents are not blocked by a box, laundry or other easy to remedy issues. Check to see if cooling vents are open. If this has been a long-term problem for your home, your system may not be properly sized or vented. A call to an HVAC professional is recommended.
  7. It sounds like my A/C unit is on but it is not blowing cool air. This is likely a blower motor issues, where your A/C is cooling, but the air is not being circulated throughout your home. This could simply be a relay problem or it may be a failure of your blower motor. In either case, it will require the assistance of a professional.

Having your A/C system regularly cleaned, inspected, and tuned-up is a terrific way to avoid loss of cooling at a critical time. It can also help your equipment last longer and operate more efficiently. Call Althoff Industries and discover how our complete A/C system service can pay for itself!

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