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Warning Signs You Might Need a New Air Conditioner

In Sydney, due to our extremes in temperature fluctuations, we rely on our air conditioning system all year-round to keep us comfortable. From unbearably hot summer days to cool winter nights, this is the one appliance most of us can’t live without.

When your air conditioner breaks down at the height of an Australian heatwave or on the chilliest nights of the year in winter, you’d understandably be quite frustrated. Thankfully, your air conditioning system will generally give you some warning signs that it’s on the way out so you can be prepared.

We’ve compiled eleven of the most common signs that you need a new air conditioning unit or system, so you know what to look out for.

1. Lots of Moisture Is Accumulating or the Unit Is Leaking

A little moisture from condensation is perfectly normal when you’re heating and cooling air. A lot of water collecting on or around your air conditioning unit or worse yet, a leak, is the tell-tale sign that you need an air conditioning specialist though.

This extra moisture could be the result of an internal mechanism malfunctioning or related to the refrigerant. Regardless, both of these issues need to be attended to quickly.

Unwanted water dripping in your home can lead to water damage which can be very costly to repair. Exposed refrigerant, on the other hand, has a whole host of health hazards attached to it.

Pooled water or an active leak around your air conditioner is an important sign that your cooling system isn’t running properly. Don’t wait and call our air conditioning service technicians.

Leaks or water leaks can quickly damage your home and may even lead to serious structural issues.

While you might be able to repair your existing air con in this case, replacing the system can often be more cost-effective.

2. It’s Started Making Strange Knocking Noises

No air conditioner is completely silent. Over time you come to learn the normal sounds your specific air conditioner makes. If your air conditioner has started making strange sounds suddenly, this is cause for concern.

Screeching, grinding, rattling, buzzing, or ticking noises are all bad signs that there’s something very wrong with your air conditioner. Depending on the issue causing the noise, a repair or replacement will be in order.

3. Strange Smells Are Coming from the Unit

There are a number of strange smells that can come from air conditioners when something is wrong. From a musty smell that could be the sign of mould or mildew inside the system to sulphur from critters who met unfortunate ends in your ductwork, you can tell a lot about an AC unit from how it smells.

While all smells indicate that there’s something wrong with your air conditioning and that harmful bacteria is possibly present, some can also put you and your family’s health at risk. Hopefully a thorough clean or a simple repair can take care of the bad smells, but it might just be time to replace the unit entirely if the bacteria has broken into areas which cannot be easily cleaned or serviced.

4. No Cool or Warm Air Is Coming from the Air Conditioning Unit

If you turn your air conditioner on but your house still feels hot or freezing cold, that’s a clear sign it’s time to replace your air conditioner. There’s a long list of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t creating the cool or warm air you’re after, and you will need a qualified air conditioning system expert to assess the situation and conduct repairs or replacements.

5. The Airflow Output Is Terrible

Have you noticed a considerable change in the airflow from your air conditioner?

Within a few minutes of turning your air conditioner on, you should notice warm or cool air coming from the unit. If this isn’t the case, there’s likely something restricting the airflow in the air vents or the fan could be faulty.

Problems like this don’t fix themselves and are generally picked up early on with regular maintenance so can be avoided. An air conditioning technician will be able to identify the issue and repair it or install a replacement unit for your property.

6. The Temperature is Inconsistent

The whole point of your air conditioner is to provide a consistent flow of air at the temperature setting you’ve selected. While a little fluctuation is to be expected as the system regulates the temperature, large inconsistencies are not normal.

Air conditioning units that blow out hot air when in cooling mode likely have a serious problem like a damaged compressor. An inconsistent temperature could also be caused by faults in the filters, condensing coil, condensation drains, or any other internal component.

Major faults which stop your air conditioner from producing a consistent air temperature or a diminished cooling capacity are often too expensive to repair. A full replacement with a new system is preferable to repair work.

7. It Struggles to Start or Is Short-Cycling

Air conditioners cycle through on and off states in order to maintain the desired temperature. If your air con is struggling to start up or is randomly turning on and off in short cycles, this is potentially a sign that a new unit is in order.

Frequently turning on and off in this way will strain your air conditioner and reduce its lifespan. If you’re lucky, it’s simply a blown fuse. Otherwise, you’ll likely be up for a new air conditioning unit.

8. Excessive Dust Is Accumulating

Well maintained air conditioners do more than just heating and cooling. They clean your home’s air with their air filters too so you can breathe easy.

If you’ve started noticing more dust than usual around your home or a thick collection of it on your air conditioner’s filters, this could be one of the signs you need a new AC. Give your filters a clean and if the problem persists, it might be time to consider some new air conditioning systems.

9. You’ve Had Unexplained Higher Energy Bills

As the seasons change you expect your energy bills to fluctuate a bit. As the winter or summer season approaches and you use your air con more and more, a higher energy bill only makes sense.

Over time, you come to develop a reasonable expectation of your energy bill. Unless your energy retailer has significantly increased their charges, large price spikes that come out of nowhere are often a sign that something is wrong at home.

If you’ve got an old air conditioner or have noticed any of the above signs in combination with an unexpectedly high power bill, your air con could be at fault.

10. Your Air Conditioner is Old and Inefficient

Old age affects us all, including our air cons. If energy costs or your home’s energy efficiency is a concern for you, then that alone could be a reason to upgrade your current system to something new.

Newer models can save you more money in the long run than older air cons with their lower running costs. Inherently more energy efficient with their newer technology, simply compare the Energy Rating of your old unit and a new unit.

11. Your Air Conditioner is Old and Needs Frequent Repairs

Even a regularly serviced air conditioner will show signs of wear and tear as it reaches the end of its life expectancy. Older air conditioners that need frequent repairs are generally better off replaced than repaired.

If you replace your air conditioner instead of preparing your old unit over and over again, you’ll likely save money in the long run. This is especially true after the warranty expires and you’re up for the cost of repairs entirely.

You’ll also get to enjoy all the great features new AC systems come with such as their smart capabilities and greater energy efficiency.

Do you need a New Air Conditioner?

So repairing your air conditioner is more trouble than it’s worth and it’s time to replace your air conditioning system. How much does a new air conditioner cost?

An air conditioner that might slip right into one home could require significantly more labour to install in another. There are a number of other factors you need to consider during the decision-making process beyond just the type of air con you want to install:

  • size of the room to heat/cool
  • how insulated your home is
  • gas or electricity
  • zoning

And more!

Depending on the air conditioner you want to be installed, this could be quite a costly investment.

Ready to replace that old air conditioning system?

Call True Air Systems now and we can have an expert at your door today for a free quote.

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