5 Signs It May Be Time for a New Air Conditioning Unit

There’s nothing more frustrating than when your air conditioning unit goes out during the spring and summer months and no matter if you open the windows or not, you’re still sweaty and sticky. So before you get to meltdown mode in your home, we always recommend a regular maintenance check-up. You can learn more about that here. 

But in the meantime, here are the 5 signs it may be time to replace your air conditioning unit. 

  1. Lack of Cool Air
  2. Foul Odors
  3. Out-Of-The-Norm Noises
  4. Moisture Around Unit
  5. Age of Unit
  1. Lack of Cool Air

This is an obvious one, but if you turn on your unit and the thermostat is not matching the air that’s being pumped out of your unit or is pumping warm air, there’s a problem that you’ll need to have looked at. A great way to test your air temperature when you first turn your unit to cool for the season is to use an old school thermometer. First, make sure your unit has been running for 15 minutes and the outdoor temperature is above 80 degrees. Next, with a clean air filter, set the thermometer on the supply vent that’s closest to the inside cooling equipment. Keep the thermometer in place for at least 5 minutes before taking note of the temperature. Repeat this same process with the return vent. The air coming out should be at least 20 degrees cooler than the air going into the unit. After doing these quick tests and your air conditioner is not cooling at appropriate levels it could be low on refrigerant or have some leaks. A unit overcooling, more than 20 degrees, could have a blockage in the lines.

2. Foul Odors

Sure it stinks not having proper cool air circulating in your home, but it shouldn’t literally smell! The smell could be a burned out wire insulation inside the unit. If you’re getting more of a musty smell there could be mold lurking inside the unit or even worse the ductwork. This is a problem you’d want to be resolved by professional AC technicians because it can affect your family’s health over time.

3. Snap, Crackle, Pop

When it comes to your unit, out-of-the-norm noises are a pause for concern. If you’re hearing grinding or scraping there could be a belt that’s off its track in your unit. This can be a serious issue that you’d want to get looked at promptly to avoid the loose belt doing unnecessary damage to other, costly parts within the unit. 

4. Moisture Around Unit

Having any sort of dampness in or around your air conditioning unit is never a good thing. This moisture could be Freon chemicals, which is poisonous, or water. Liquid leaks could form around your unit in two ways. One, you may see water leaking out of the unit on to the floor and other times you make notice ice inside your HVAC unit around the refrigerant lines that run outside to the condenser. 

5. Older than 10 years

When was the last time you checked the label on your HVAC? Every Shaw installed unit gets a Shaw Services sticker to track regular HVAC maintenance, tune-ups, and repairs. This label shows you how old the unit is and although not all units are created equal, we tend to recommend and install Carrier units the most in the Northern Virginia area, they typically last 10 years. In 2020, taking note of the age of your unit will become vital as federal law was passed ending the production of Freon by January of 2020 in order to protect the ozone layer. If your unit still uses Freon to function, you don’t have to replace your unit right now, however, you may want to consider a replacement unit that operates on an environmentally-friendly refrigerant in the near future. 

Have questions about the age or life expectancy of your air conditioning unit? Call Shaw at 571-261-3800and we’ll come out for a maintenance check-up.