Right now in Olathe we're experiencing that rare April-May sweet spot where the weather is pretty mild most of the time, and we have the opportunity to give our heating and cooling system a break. We're also getting a nice break on our energy bills. Of course, this is Kansas, so the weather is not always as reliable as we would like, and heat will be here before we know it.
When summer weather sets in here in Olathe, whether that's in a couple of months or next week, we'll be shutting the windows and cranking up our air conditioners for the first time. By then, you'll hopefully have already had your season HVAC tune-up and had your air conditioner checked out by a professional A/C service person. (We do that here at Davenport Service Company, by the way, so give us a call if you haven't yet!)
If you have had your seasonal tune-up, your service person may have warned you that your A/C unit was on its last legs. Even if it's still working for now, you may start seeing signs that your air conditioner has seen better days and might be in need of replacement before it gives up the ghost on the hottest day of the year. What kinds of signs are we talking about? Here are a few of the most common ones:
1. Your Air Conditioner is Over 14 Years Old.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, even air conditioners that have been properly and routinely maintained will begin to break down after 15 years or so. If your air conditioner is 14 years old or older, it's probably time to start thinking about a new one.
Not sure how old your air conditioning unit is? Most of the homes in the Olathe area were built in the '90s, so if your home still has the original air conditioner, it's probably really getting up there in years. It's time to pay close attention to everything your A/C unit is doing, from how well it's cooling to how high your utility bills are getting. It also means that it's even more important to keep up with your bi-annual HVAC maintenance because your friendly neighborhood heating and cooling professional is probably going to be the one who spots a mechanical problem with your air conditioner before anyone else.
2. Your House is Hot.
Makes sense, right? If you've got the thermostat turned down but your house is still hot, chances are there's a problem with your A/C. If your air conditioner is blowing warm air or the airflow is much weaker than normal, you likely have a problem. Even if you haven't ever noticed anything like that, if your air conditioner runs all the time but your house doesn't seem to get any cooler, that's probably also a bad sign. Humidity out of control in the house? You've got it: That's another bad sign.
There are lots of problems that can cause this, and they may not always require a brand-new air conditioner. Sometimes a single component may be overheating or your unit may have a refrigerant leak. In any case, it's probably a good idea to call your local air conditioner repair pro in Olathe before the problem gets any worse.
3. The Smell! The Noise!
As with just about any major appliance, odd noises and odors coming from your air conditioner are a bad sign. When you first kick on your air conditioner in the summer, you may notice a smell for just a short time, but if that doesn't go away, if it smells like something is burning, or if the air in any other way doesn't smell like the fresh, clean air you'd expect, it's time to contact an HVAC service company right away! The same goes for weird noises coming from your A/C unit or your vents.
4. Your Energy Bills are Out of Sight!
Just because your air conditioner has a malfunctioning component doesn't mean it's going to stop doing its job altogether. Instead, it'll just take more energy to do what it should have been doing all along. That may mean a big uptick in your energy bills, even if you aren't running the A/C any more than usual.
If you notice that your energy bills go up for no obvious reason, that may indicate that service is needed and a replacement might be in your future. Your local A/C repair professional can tell you what's needed and get things back the way they should be!
5. The Repairs Are Frequent and Expensive.
When you get right down to it, an air conditioner is a lot like a car. There are certain things that you have to do regularly to keep it running as it should (changing the oil and rotating the tires on your car, seasonal tune-ups and changing your air filters on your A/C), but it's also possible to keep it limping along well after it should have been replaced by making more and more frequent repairs.
While it's nice to learn that you can replace just one part of your air conditioner rather than having to invest in a whole new unit, if your air conditioner is often on the fritz, the price for repairs is starting to stack up, and you have your Olathe HVAC service company on speed-dial, it may be a better long-term investment to buy a new A/C than to keep patching up the old one over and over again.
What to Do When Your A/C is on the Fritz?
Here at Davenport Service Company, we know how tough it can be when your A/C goes out on a hot summer day. The best thing to do is to call your HVAC service professional right away, but we've assembled a few tips to help you get by while you wait for the Olathe heating and cooling pros to get things back up and running. Close the blinds, especially to south-facing windows. Keep the air circulating with standalone fans. Don't bake. That kind of thing. Check out our list for more tips and tricks!
Of course, if your air conditioner goes out on a hot day, it's important to call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222 immediately. The sooner you call, the sooner our Olathe heating and cooling professionals can get your air conditioner back up and running and keep your house cool on even the hottest summer day. Even if your A/C isn't giving you any trouble yet, it's important to get your seasonal tune-up scheduled to make sure that everything keeps running as it should and that you have some warning about problems that may be coming down the road.