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Time to Test Your AC (And See if It Needs Fixing)

wall-clockIn our last two blog posts, we looked over the benefits of spring maintenance for an air conditioner and why it’s important to schedule it this time of year. As important as professional maintenance is, however, you still need to do testing of your own before the summer heat arrives. You don’t want to be surprised when you turn on your air conditioner for the first time during the year and find that it’s failed. Yes, even with regular maintenance, this can happen. We recommend you take your air conditioner for a test run during the spring to catch any lingering troubles early on.

Pick a day with cool or warm outdoor temperatures when you won’t mind having the air conditioner running for an hour or so, but when you don’t actually need it for comfort. Turn it on, and then take some time to watch for faults, small and large, that indicate you should contact our HVAC technicians for air conditioning repair in Eugene, OR or elsewhere in the state. Below are some behaviors to watch for that are warnings about malfunctions or a system that’s aging rapidly.

Short-Cycling

Short-cycling refers to a type of air conditioning system behavior that’s incredibly damaging—but also easy to ignore if it isn’t yet affecting cooling. Short-cycling is when the AC’s compressor turns on and off rapidly over a short period of time. This means the air conditioner isn’t completing its cooling cycle. There are different reasons this might occur—a malfunctioning thermostat, leaks in ducts, an improperly sized AC, stress on the compressor—but all add up to enormous strain on the components that can lead to an early system breakdown. You’ll need HVAC experts to analyze the system and find out what needs to be fixed.

Low Airflow from Vents

As you tour your home while the AC is running, check each of the room vents to feel the airflow from them. If the airflow from one or more vents feels sluggish, something is probably wrong, either in the vents or with the AC’s air handler.

Hot Spots in Rooms

The reason we recommend making this test during a cool or moderately warm day, rather than a cold day, is so you can feel temperature differences in rooms that are receiving less cooling than they should. Hot spots (warm spots this time of year) are indications the AC is starting to lose its cooling abilities. Check first to see that room vents are open and unobstructed. Then consult with professionals.

Weird Noises

You don’t want to hear unexpected sounds coming from the indoor AC cabinet or the outdoor unit. Grinding, shrieking, and other mechanical sounds often means motors are wearing down and need repairs before they need replacements. Clanging and rattling noises might be loose parts. And a hissing sound points toward a dangerous loss of refrigerant through leaks. Let HVAC professionals track down the problem and have it fixed.

Remember, if you haven’t done so yet, please arrange for air conditioning maintenance with our HVAC professionals. This will give you time to schedule any repairs you may require.

Comfort Flow Heating provides all of Oregon with superb heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration.

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