Daikin: The TellTale Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner
During a hot South African summer, we rely on a few important things – sunscreen, a hat, and at home, an air conditioning unit to keep the heat at bay.
An air conditioner can make life comfortable when temperatures climb… but how do you know when you can no longer rely on your AC system? Maybe you’ve noticed it doesn’t seem to cool or run as efficiently as it used to. Even a well-maintained air conditioner of a certain age might run into problems. So we asked the professionals from Daikin to help us out with 7 telltale signs that indicate you need to replace your air conditioner. If you recognise any of the signs, call in a pro to see if repair is an option, or start shopping for a replacement unit.
1. Your unit is blowing hot or cold air which is inconsistent to temperature settings:
One of the most common problems in an older air conditioning unit is that it just doesn’t cool or heat. It may still produce regular air levels, but the air isn’t coming out cold or hot as per its settings. From time to time during regular use, you may experience some warm air on a cool setting, but if your unit stops producing cool air entirely, it’s time to investigate and vice versa for heating. It may mean low refrigerant levels. However, warm air production when set for cooling can indicate a serious problem such as a damaged compressor.
Inconsistent temperatures are a sign of trouble too. Your air conditioner is supposed to provide a consistent air temperature at the setting you’ve chosen.
2. Your unit has diminished air flow:
During operation there is little or no cool air coming out of the vents. A significant decrease in air flow could be another sign that your air conditioner’s compressor is on its last leg. Again, check filters first, but it might be time for a new unit.
3. It’s emitting strange noises or strange smells:
A fully functioning air conditioning system should operate almost silently. If you know your unit well, you’ll be familiar with any little sounds it makes as it cycles. In fact, those noises will be a regular part of your life’s sound symphony. So, when you hear noises different from the norm, it’s time to act. Minor noise changes could simply indicate the need for some repairs.
The same goes for unusual odours! If your unit is giving off a bad smell, it’s not just a nuisance, it indicates a problem you need to address right away.
4. Your unit is leaking or producing excess moisture:
Depending on the type of air conditioner you have, a small amount of condensation or water dripping on the outside of your unit (i.e. outside the house) is normal. But for the most part, your air conditioning unit should stay dry whether or not it’s in use. If you notice moisture inside the house, a sudden increase in condensation or a leak, it may be time to replace your air conditioner.
5. Your unit is short cycling:
It’s quite normal for your air conditioner to cycle on and off to maintain a set temperature throughout your home. However, has your unit developed a tendency to switch itself off randomly? Or does it sometimes have difficulty getting started? If you notice that it is turning on and off more frequently than usual, it is possible that your unit is malfunctioning. Short cycling puts extra stress on your air conditioner, and will cause it to fail entirely if not handled quickly.
6. Your energy bills have dramatically increased:
Even if your unit appears to be functioning ‘normally’, one of the biggest telltale signs there may be a major problem can be found on your electricity bill. Has it spiked suddenly and you aren’t sure why? Undertake an ‘energy audit’ and consider other factors that may have caused your bill to increase. If all roads lead to your unit being the source of the extra power, then you need to determine why it has become significantly less efficient. Perhaps your air conditioning system is overworking? Of course, it may be an energy drain simply because it has become sluggish and is reaching the end of its working life.
7. Your unit requires frequent repairs (and is out of warranty):
Has your trusty air conditioning unit become more trouble (and expense) than its worth? In an ideal world, your unit should be serviced just once a year to keep it well maintained, clean and in tip top shape. Occasionally, you may need an extra service or repair. However, if your air conditioning system is constantly in need of mending and repairing, multiple times per year, then you may have to call time on this unit – replacing your air conditioner may simply be the more economical and efficient option. Usually, you can factor in one major repair or part replacement. However, if serious repairs occur later in the unit’s life, they serve as a warning of future issues.
So do you recognise any of these signs? Don’t wait.
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