Warner Robins, GA, is no stranger to the summer heat. While many locals don’t mind braving the outdoors for a few hours at a time during the hottest months, few could make it through the entire season without relief from the heat in their home. Losing your air conditioner is more than an inconvenience when the heat and humidity reaches dangerous levels. That’s why homeowners should learn how to recognize signs that indicate their AC system is on the verge of failure. Here are four signs that indicate it’s time to replace your air conditioner:

Leaking Around Core Components

Many kinds of air conditioning systems produce noticeable condensation around some of their components. But constant leaking can indicate serious internal damage or deterioration from age. Excessive water may appear if the unit is under too much demand from consistent use or extreme temperatures. Any kind of lingering dampness can turn the area into a breeding ground for microbial growth, which can spread through ducts and vents to the rest of the home.

Depending on the design of your system, dampness around the AC components can also indicate a refrigerant leak. This is a lot more serious than simple water buildup, as the chemicals used in many air conditioner designs pose a serious health threat to people and animals alike. It’s a good idea to remove pets and children from the area until you’ve addressed the leakage to prevent accidental exposure.

Failure to Reach Target Temperature

One of the most obvious signs of a failing AC system is an inability to reach the target temperature on the thermostat. It should only take a few minutes for a system to initialize and begin creating cool airflow once you’ve turned it on. A serious failure in core components is often to blame for this problem. But repair and maintenance may be enough to buy you some time.

A complete lack of airflow from vents or ducts is also a sign of serious trouble. Cleaning the ducts or repairing the blower fan may be enough to get things going again if the system itself is still operational. However, keeping ducts, vents and intake filters clean throughout the year is essential. It helps to reduce mechanical stress and prolong the life of your system.

Unit Makes Strange Sounds or Smells

You should always treat foul smells coming from the air conditioner seriously. When possible, homeowners should shut down their system until they can have it inspected by a professional. A stale or musty odor could be a symptom of unabated microbial growth somewhere in or near the system. Foul or burning smells likely point towards electrical or mechanical failure, which could become a serious fire hazard if you keep the system running.

Clunking, whirring, and other new or disruptive noises are also a sign of a failing air conditioner. There are plenty of possible reasons for this new development. But homeowners should consider turning their system off until a licensed professional has inspected it.

Rise in Repair and Power Costs

Even if it’s possible to extend the life of your system a few more years, it’s not always the best option financially. When annual repair bills from your air conditioner consistently rise with each passing year, it might be worth comparing these costs to those of a new system with minimal maintenance needs. Aging systems also tend to run less efficiently, which means they cost owners more in monthly energy expenses.

There are dozens of factors at play when assessing the need for an air conditioner replacement. General life expectancy is often a decisive one. Most AC systems only last 10 to 15 years under ideal circumstances. Therefore, homeowners should expect to replace their AC system at least a few times over the years. Whether you need a complete replacement or just basic maintenance, Pruett Air Conditioning provides comprehensive professional solutions for all your AC needs.

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