When you think of a home emergency, you’ll no doubt think about fires, floods, or a medical issue. However, emergencies can occur to your home systems, too, and some will need urgent attention from a professional. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the common air conditioning emergencies that can arise and what you can do about them. We’ll also talk about the many benefits of preventative maintenance and why it’s an investment that will pay you dividends throughout the year.

Clogged Lines

As your air conditioner works hard to keep your home cool, water drips from the evaporator coil into a drain line and then into your plumbing system. This is all part of the air conditioning process. Sometimes, this drain line can become clogged or blocked, causing water to backup in your system and start leaking out of your unit. Air conditioning leaks can be serious, causing damage to your carpets, upholstery and walls. The damage can be particularly bad if the leak goes unchecked for some time. Drain line clogs can be caused by a number of things, including dust and debris in your system and also mold growing in the drain line.

Here are some of the signs you may have a clogged line:
  • Water leaking from your unit
  • A damp and musty smell in the air
  • Water stains on your walls
  • Rust or mold near or on your unit

Solution: It’s always a good idea to call in the professionals if you have a leak from your unit. Clogged drain lines can be prevented by arranging an annual tune-up. During your maintenance visit, your drain line and the pan will be thoroughly checked, cleaned and flushed to ensure proper operation.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is used to absorb heat and provide cool air during the air conditioning process. The lines for the refrigerant run between the evaporator coils in your indoor unit and the compressor in your outside unit. When this line springs a leak, the loss of refrigerant will cause your system to fail. You might notice your system starts running on a more frequent basis. This is because it isn’t able to reach the temperature that would usually signal it to stop. Refrigerant leaks are particularly urgent as they can cause system damage. For example, your compressor could overheat or burn out. Ice could also build up on your coils and lines, causing irreparable system damage.

Here are some of the signs you may have a refrigerant leak:
  • Ice building up on refrigerant lines
  • System running too frequently
  • Hissing noises
  • Air from vents isn’t as cool as it should be

Solution: If you’ve noticed any of the signs above, get in touch with our team for urgent assistance before damage can set in. Annual checks of your coils, compressor and refrigerant lines can also prevent these problems from occurring.

Electrical Faults

If your system isn’t running at all or is running constantly or intermittently, you could have an electrical fault. It could be a problem with your breaker, or it could be an electrical component inside your indoor or outside unit. One of the biggest culprits for electrical faults is the contactors housed in your outside condenser unit. These switches can become stuck, keeping the indoor unit running when it shouldn’t. Contactors can also wear out over time preventing the system from coming on at all.

Signs of an electrical problem include:
  • No power to your system
  • A burning smell
  • System running continuously
  • Strange buzzing sounds from your indoor unit

Solution: Routine maintenance can help to keep your AC’s electrical components in check. This will ensure that any worn-out parts or damaged wires are spotted early and before a fault can occur. Always call the professionals when it comes to electrical problems.

Problems With Ventilation

AC emergencies can also start in your ventilation system. You can’t see what’s going on in your air ducts, but there are lots of problems that can occur here that can affect your air conditioning system. Dirty coils and filters and also dislodged insulation can cause your AC to stop working efficiently and can stop it from working completely. The build-up of dirt in your system can have a negative impact on your indoor air quality, too. Blockages can also be caused by furniture or curtains covering vents. Any blockages will make your HVAC system work harder which can cause a spike in your energy bills.

Signs of a ventilation problem include:
  • Uneven temperatures throughout your home
  • No or weak airflow through your vents
  • Unit running more than it should
  • Problems with indoor air quality

Solution: If you have noticed cold or hot spots around your home, check there are no obvious causes, such as furniture or equipment blocking vents. It’s also a good idea to arrange regular duct cleaning to keep your ventilation system working as it should.

Loud Noises

When your air conditioning system is operating normally, it should make minimal noise. At most, you should be able to hear a low hum and the sound of the cool air being expelled. If your system has started making a screeching, rattling, or hissing noise, it’s time to take action. The sooner you can arrange repairs, the less chance there will be of expensive components failing completely. A loud buzzing sound, for example, could signify that your compressor isn’t working currently, or that you have a problem with your electrical voltage. A loud screeching sound could be down to bent fan blades hitting metal inside the unit, or could also signal a problem with the compressor. These sounds may occur constantly or could be intermittent. Either way, it’s always a good idea to have them checked out.

Call us if you hear the following sounds coming from your system:
  • A loud buzzing that doesn’t go away
  • A metal-on-metal grinding sound
  • Screeching sounds inside or outside
  • A hissing sound

Solution: If you’re worried about the noise your air conditioner is making, give our team a call. We’ll arrive quickly to identify the source of the sound and get to work on rectifying the situation. The sooner you call us the sooner we can fix the problem and prevent irreparable damage.

Avoid AC Emergencies with Regular Tune-Ups

It’s easy to take your air conditioning system for granted until it breaks down that is. You can take preventative action that keeps your system performing at its best and efficiently. We’ll visit your home once a year to take care of your air conditioning system with a thorough tune-up. From cleaning away debris and checking your drain line to lubricating moving parts and looking out for potential issues, we’ll give your AC system the full once-over. No matter what make or model system you have, you can depend on us to help you avoid the common AC emergencies that can bring your system and comfort levels down.

To find out more about our AC maintenance services, speak to the team at Southport Home Services today. Check out our maintenance specials on our website, too. We’re always trying to save our customers money wherever we can.

Meet the Author
Thomas Suchla
Thomas Suchla


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