Air conditioning systems can provide years of service without trouble. However, problems can appear suddenly or creep unnoticed. In both instances, it's important to know what the signs are that your system deserves the attention of an AC repair technician.
Yes, an air conditioning unit will get noisier as it ages. However, anything that sounds clunky or indicates strain is probably bad. Squealing can be problematic, too, because it's often indicative that the fan is failing.
An AC system shouldn't smell. It's possible that the filter needs to be changed. Also, it's worth checking the outside portion to see if it's clogged with leaves from trees, nesting materials from birds, or even nuts from squirrels. Once you've eliminated the possible sources of smells, though, ask an air conditioning service provider to offer a professional opinion.
Especially with a whole-house system, condensation indoors is bad news. Presuming the unit was properly designed for the size of the house, there should be zero condensation.
Sometimes condensation leads to mold, and you might only notice this by smell. If the basement isn't staying dry, the condensation caused by a failing AC unit may end up in the boards and walls. That provides a base for mold to grow. If you see mold issues, you might want to have an air conditioning repair technician check your system out just to be on the safe side.
If an AC system is appropriately sized for a place, it should not have to labor constantly to keep it cool. An exception may be if you live in a high-humidity environment that also gets hot in the summer. However, there should be a significant drop in activity once the weather cools down.
When an AC system extracts water from the air, the water should go outside and evaporate. If the unit is dripping, it's struggling to pump humidity outdoors.
Blowing Warm Air
Nothing's quite as disappointing as an air conditioner failing to blow cool air. Even if it does eventually get to blowing cool air, though, that's not a good thing. Anything that takes time with an AC unit is eating into your electric bill and costing you money in the long run.
It's possible the unit might have an obstruction, but the most likely culprit is going to be the compressor, refrigerant, or condenser. If you've verified there are no obstructions outside, then it's time to talk with an air conditioning repair professional.
For more information on AC repair, reach out to a local HVAC technician.