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Air conditioners are designed to withstand the rigors of the weather that we experience in Fort Worth, TX, but that does not mean that you can get away with not taking care of your AC unit. If you try to ignore your AC unit’s basic needs you will after a time need the services of an AC repair company. Think of all the things you own that need routine maintenance and care. Your car or truck comes to mind here. Just like your vehicle, so too does your AC unit need basic care and maintenance. At a minimum, you should be changing the air filters every 90 days at the very least, and every 45 days for maximum AC efficiency or if you have pets that shed a lot of fur. If you have pets that shed fur, especially long-haired pets this can quickly clog up your air filter and block airflow to and from your AC unit. This in turn will jack up your utility bill as your AC unit fruitlessly tries to cool down your home. Not only that but a dirty AC filter will severely overwork your AC unit leading to potential mechanical failure in one or more of the many working parts of your air conditioner.
When purchasing a filter you want to ensure that you have the best quality filter that you can afford to buy, when it comes to AC filters cheaper is not better. You also need to ensure that you have the right type and size filter for your home or you could soon find yourself needing the services of an AC repair company. Media Filters last the longest, they can last upwards of 6 months, but again if you have pets or allergies you should replace your media filter every 3 months instead. If you have an older AC unit that uses fiberglass filters this is a problem as these types of filters need to be replaced around every 30 days. Not only does changing your air filter often lead to fewer calls to an AC company for your home, but it will also help to improve the air quality of your home.
Now we mentioned that your AC unit is much like your car in that it needs maintenance. You should be having an AC tune-up done every single year. At One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth we cannot stress this enough. We have been an AC repair company since 1988 and we can tell you that the vast majority of the customers we have for major AC repairs have ignored this basic AC need of having a tune-up done every spring. When you have a tune-up done your AC repair technician will inspect your entire unit inside and out and top to bottom. This is good for you, the customer as it allows us to spot problems while they are still minor issues, that is before your entire AC unit breaks down. No one in Fort Worth, TX wants their central air conditioners to break down in the middle of summer when it is hot and humid outside. Not only does your system get fully inspected during an AC tune-up but it also gets cleaned thoroughly including your condenser coils. Many AC units suffer breakdowns due to dirty coils or dirt and debris becoming lodged inside of the outdoor unit.
When your AC unit is cleaned during a tune-up it helps to improve the efficiency of the air conditioner and helps to prevent breakdowns, remember many breakdowns in an AC unit happen due to dirt and grime. Your AC tech will also measure your refrigerant and top it off if needed, you never want your AC unit to be low on refrigerant. Your HVAC tech will also calibrate your thermostat ensuring that the command and control center of your AC unit is functioning as it should. Your technician will also inspect your ductwork to ensure there are no leaks or blockages. Every electrical connection inside of your unit will also be tightened up to prevent breakdowns. Your tech will also ensure your blower motor and belt are operating at peak performance. All bearings and moving parts of your AC unit will also be lubricated, as these moving parts take a lot of abuse in our heat! Your AC repair company will also inspect your condenser coil to ensure it is functioning as it should. Your AC repair company will also inspect your indoor coil if it is accessible. Your AC repair company will also check your contractors to ensure they are not pitted or burned as this can quickly lead to an AC breakdown. We will inspect your fan blade and test your capacitors and much much more. As you can see an AC repair company puts a lot of work into tuning up your AC unit.
How does one know if their AC is about to break down though? Let us explore some of the tell-tale warning signs that it is time to call a Fort Worth, TX AC repair company.
All air conditioners will make some sort of sound during the normal course of operation. This is especially true when the unit cycles on and off. However, some noises if you ever hear them will indicate the need to call an AC repair company right away. If you should ever hear a hissing sound come from your air conditioner this usually means that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak. Not only will this eventually make your AC cease to function but refrigerant is very expensive to replace so you want to make that call to your local AC repair company as soon as you notice this sound coming from your unit. There is also the matter of refrigerant being poisonous to both you and your family so this is also a safety issue that needs to be attended to. Now if you start to hear banging noises come from your unit this is also a bad sign. It is often a clue that there is an issue going on with your air conditioner’s compressor. This is often due to parts becoming loose inside of the compressor and tends to happen more often than not to mid-aged to older AC units. If you start to hear screeching sounds coming from your AC unit this is also a time to call your local AC repair company. Most often screeching is due to your fan motor going out in your outside unit. It can also be a broken motor in your condenser which is never a good sign, thankfully this issue can be fixed if you act fast. If you have faulty bearings in your fan motor you may also hear a screeching sound. Once you hear screeching you should turn off the air conditioner and quickly call an AC repair company. Should you hear a humming noise coming from your AC unit it is often due to a faulty contactor relay switch. This signals an electrical issue with your air conditioner so you for sure want to make that call to an AC repair company and make sure you turn off the unit until a licensed HVAC technician inspects and repairs the unit. If you do choose to keep running the AC unit after hearing this noise be aware that you are likely doing further damage to your AC unit which will result in more expensive repairs. Now if you start to hear a buzzing sound coming from your AC unit this signals trouble. It is often due to a loose fan blade in your system, but it can also be caused by a bad fan motor, dirty AC coils, or other components that have become loose. If you hear a buzzing sound you want to make that call to your local AC repair company for service as soon as possible. A buzzing sound can even mean you are dealing with a refrigerant leak. Rattling sounds are often caused by debris inside of your outdoor unit, but it can also be a faulty electrical contractor or loose parts inside of your system. Ignoring a rattling sound in your AC unit is only asking for trouble. Now if you begin to hear a clicking sound come from inside of the unit that is continuous you have a problem. While it is normal to hear this sound when the air conditioner cycles on or off, you should never hear this sound nonstop. Oftentimes it is a simple fix when you hear this sound as it is often just the thermostat giving out. In most cases, the thermostat will need to be replaced by a Fort Worth, TX AC repair company. If you start to hear a hissing sound it can be leaking refrigerant or a bad expansion valve so you should call your local AC repair company right away if you hear this sound.
Your AC Turns On And Off Often
If your AC unit starts and stops suddenly, without finishing the cooling process in your home, you are dealing with what we in the HVAC industry call short cycling. Short cycling occurs when your AC unit ceases operation before the entire cooling process has been completed. This can jack up your utility bill as your air conditioner will continue to try and cool off the home but it will never quite get the job done. Sure you will get some cooling but the temperature will never reach what the thermostat is set for. If you have this issue you will need the services of a local Fort Worth, TX AC repair company. Short cycling can have numerous causes, and if it is ignored the problem can very quickly become worse. Your AC will usually give you warning signs that it is about to die and this is one of them. You could have a faulty control board, clogged air filters that would prevent proper airflow in your system or you could be dealing with low levels of refrigerant or even a refrigerant leak inside of your system. This problem can even signal a faulty evaporator coil. The only way to know for sure is to reach out to an AC repair company.
Fluid Leaking Out Of Condenser
If you have a fluid that is not water leaking from your condenser you have a huge problem. If you do not know what the condenser is, it is the outdoor unit of your air conditioning system. Most likely this fluid will be leaking refrigerant. Your refrigerant is a key component of the operation of your AC unit, without refrigerant the unit will cease to function. In this case, you should power off the air conditioner and call your AC repair company to make repairs as soon as possible. Luckily this is an easy fix, the leak just needs to be sealed and your HVAC technician will then need to refill your refrigerant levels back up to optimal levels.
Air Conditioner Is Blowing Warm Air
If your AC unit is blowing warm air this is never a good sign, in fact, this is one issue that you want to call your local Fort Worth, TX AC repair company right away about. It means your AC has ceased to function as it should. Most times this problem lies with the condenser, which is your outside unit. It could be a lack of refrigerant, a faulty evaporator coil, or even parts of your AC unit that have frozen over. If your evaporator coils have become dirty with dirt, much and grime this too can cause this issue. Whatever the cause is you need the issue fixed ASAP, especially in the summer months.
If you have any of the above signs of trouble with your air conditioner, or you have not yet had your yearly AC tune-up please do give One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth a call at (817) 283-6911. We have the experience needed to quickly get your AC back up and running and in tip-top shape. Give us a call and see why we have thousands of satisfied customers in our customer “family”. At One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating we treat each and every customer just like family and we know firsthand what it is like to go without cooling, no matter what time of the year it is. We offer 24/7 service for your peace of mind.