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  • Writer's pictureHaught Air Conditioner

The Heat of the Moment: 7 Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Gray air conditioner thermostat displaying at 63

As the heat of summer lingers through fall and the years get hotter year on year, having a reliable air conditioner has rapidly become more of a necessity than a luxury.

With its soothing hum and comforting coolness, it's easy to take your faithful unit for granted until it starts acting up. Then it’s a potentially heartbreaking couple of weeks where everyone in the house is sweaty, uncomfortable, and sad, trying to stay cool while the expensive repair is on its way.

We cry just imagining it.

But hold up, you never need to let things get that far. With a bit of a proactive mindset, you can keep your AC unit running in tip-top condition not only to prevent it from breaking but actually to get it running better than ever through strategic repairs.

There’s no need to wait to suffer when it finally calls it a day.

That’s what we’re talking about in this guide as we explore the seven key signs that your beloved air conditioner might need some tender, loving repair.

Understanding what to look out for will save you from many an uncomfortable day (and sweaty nights!), so let's get into it.

#1: Inadequate Cooling

Do you remember when you first started your AC unit, and it absolutely “fridged” the room and felt like absolute bliss on a summer’s afternoon? Noticed that your unit just doesn’t give that same amount of chill anymore?

When you've cranked the thermostat down to the max and yet your home’s still hotter than a sauna, that’s a sign something is up, and it’s time to call the AC repairman.

Maybe the filter is clogged, or the compressor is on its last legs - whatever it is, your unit's got issues if it can't handle the heat.

Don't let it sputter on, hoping it'll magically fix itself. Get those professionals on the phone before you melt into the couch cushions!

A little TLC now can nip bigger problems (and expenses) down the line.

#2: Strange Noises

An aesthetic shot of a fan close-up on a black background

Usually, your AC hums along in the background, cool and quiet, not asking for any attention, until one day, there’s grinding, rattling, or nails on a chalkboard screeching.

That’s your unit basically yelling, "Help!"

These weird mechanical noises are a blaring siren that something's off internally - likely loose or busted parts ready to break entirely. If you ignore these unsettling sounds, though near impossible, you’re essentially dismissing your AC's cry for help–and without care, the issue will only worsen until the whole system conks out.

This is a telltale something you need to get the repairs in. If not, you may risk some serious replacement expenses in as little as a few weeks.

#3: Unusual Smells

Imagine switching your AC on, expecting a refreshing blast of cool air. Instead, you get a funky, mystery stench.


If your vents are pumping out weird odors, something fishy is happening with your unit.

A musty, moldy smell could mean mildew festering somewhere, which can affect efficiency and be unhealthy, and on the other hand, a burning smell signals an electrical fault brewing.

Either way, trust your nose - bad smells mean problems. Don't ignore them, or they could get worse!

#4: High Energy Bills

You know that sinking feeling when you open a sky-high energy bill? Oh yes, that’s the worst, especially with energy prices increasing seemingly all the time.

However, while the prices are certainly in flux, you may actually have a problem in your home that’s causing a spike.

Of course, it could be your AC unit.

If your bills are suddenly spiking, but you haven't changed your AC usage, your unit could be guzzling more than its fair share.

Hidden issues like leaky ducts or a failing motor can make your system inefficient, meaning it's working overtime to try and cool your home at the expense of your wallet.

Pay attention to unexplained bill surges and take a look at your cooling unit when they rise. This could be a goldmine for saving money on your energy bills.

#5: More Frequent Cooling Cycles

There are few AC units out there that are marathon runners. They’re more like sprinters built for quick cooling bursts.

Sure, more cycles are regular on hotter days, but if your unit’s kicking on and off every 10-15 minutes, even in moderate weather (or worse, colder weather), something's wrong,

This frequent cycling strains your system, causing an increased, abnormal amount of wear and tear, and wastes energy, boosting your bills and premiums.

The issue’s likely a faulty thermostat giving inaccurate readings or low refrigerant, causing the AC to work overtime. Either way, get those cooling cycles checked out ASAP before minor problems snowball into bigger, costlier repair jobs down the line.

#6: Excess Humidity

Feeling a little muggy? If your home's humidity levels exceed 60%, your AC's dehumidifier is on the fritz.

There are a few things that could be making your indoor air so thick and sticky. Maybe your AC unit is too small for your space, or your cooling settings are dialed too low to remove moisture properly.

Too much indoor moisture is no good - it makes the air feel gross and can even breed mold and worsen allergies.

Luckily, there are some easy fixes to get your home feeling crisp and comfy again–proper sizing, cooling adjustments, coil cleaning, and maintenance should do the trick.

Sign #7: Water Leaks

A dramatization of a water leak in a model playhouse

Water pooling around your AC is terrible news, and hopefully, it’s not as bad as the scene above!

If you inspect your AC unit and come across water on the floor, it likely signals refrigerant or drainage line issues that can lead to water damage, reduced cooling, ice buildup, and electrical hazards.

Even a few extra drips can very quickly morph a trickle into a flood of expensive repairs, so don’t hang around getting it checked out.

To prevent this from becoming a problem, take the time to routinely check drain lines for clogs, clear coils of debris, ensure proper drainage, and address refrigerant leaks quickly before things go downhill.

It's always cooler without an indoor pool.

When To Call The Professionals for Your Air Conditioner Repair

It's easy to take your AC for granted until there's a problem, but catching issues early can stop small problems from growing into big, ugly monsters.

While you may be able to fix minor things like dirty filters yourself, most warning signs mean calling in the experts.

Getting experienced HVAC help from pros like us here at Haught Air Conditioning will get your system up and running faster and save you money, stress, and discomfort in the long haul.

Contact us here for more info on how we can help you with all of your AC needs!

Don't DIY major AC repairs – leave it to trusted professionals like the team at Haught. Your comfort, wallet and AC will thank you.

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