Watch for These Signs Your AC Is in Trouble

To say that summers are long and hot around here would obviously be an understatement. With temperatures climbing to their highest within the next couple of months, the condition of your air conditioner is extremely important.

Watch for These Signs Your AC Is in Trouble

We’d imagine that you’re running your air conditioner on a daily basis by now, and if you’ve already had your system tuned-up in the last year, then you can likely rest assured that you won’t be in need of air conditioning repairs in Houston, TX anytime soon. If you haven’t had it recently maintained, however, then you may run into problems, and fairly soon considering that this the time of the year that the most stress is put on AC systems.

Of course, even with proper maintenance, not all air conditioner problems can be prevented. So, whatever the case may be, keeping reading to learn about some warning signs of a struggling air conditioner.

Odd Noises

You are going to know better than anyone else what noises your air conditioner typically makes while it’s running. There is, after all, a regular cycle of the sound of the compressor coming on and the hum of the fans. Pay attention to any unusual or unfamiliar noise that interrupts this typical white noise, because it often indicates that something is wrong.

Sounds like clattering or clanging can mean that mechanical parts have become loose. Hissing could mean that refrigerant is escaping. Grinding and screeching both warn of motors that are wearing down, and can burn out.


As we mentioned above, you regularly hear your compressor turning on and off. If it begins to do so rapidly, however, then you have a problem on your hands. The process in which your compressor cycles on and off every 15 minutes or so is called short-cycling and means that the compressor isn’t finishing its full cooling cycle—it is instead shutting down prematurely only to restart a short time later.

There are a number of potential causes of this. It might be a clogged air filter (you should be changing your air filter every 1-3 months), a miscalibrated thermostat, a loss of refrigerant, or even an air conditioner that wasn’t installed correctly to begin with (it may be too large for the space it’s installed in). Whatever the case may be, it needs to be resolved, as the damage to the compressor can be detrimental.

Uneven Cooling

This is one of the more subtle signs of an AC problem, and often gets ignored. But when one or more rooms in a home aren’t receiving the same level of cooling as others, then something is likely amiss. You may have poor insulation, windows in need of caulking, or even leaky ductwork.

Another factor to consider is that uneven cooling doesn’t always necessitate an AC repair but perhaps instead an upgrade. It’s common for multi-level homes to be warmer upstairs than downstairs, as heat rises. Consider investing in a zone control system to eliminate this issue!

Acrid Odors from the Vents

Dusty smells will come from the vents when the air conditioner turns on for the first time in the season. This is normal—but if after even an hour of this smell it’s not going away, then you likely have a motor burning out and on the verge of failing.

Contact Fresh Air, LP today for reliable air conditioning services, and more!

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