Posted on: 5 May 2017Share
It's not always easy to spot faults within an air conditioning system. However, it's important to be able to recognise the early warning signs that your unit needs to be repaired or serviced, as a seemingly minor fault that is left unfixed for too long could eventually worsen to the point that it causes the entire unit to fail prematurely. Here are two signs which could indicate that your unit is in need of either repair of servicing.
A musty, mouldy odour
If a musty, mouldy smell seems to hang in the air each time you switch on your air conditioning system, and the odour gradually dissipates when it is turned off, this could mean that there is mould somewhere inside the unit. This fungus often develops on a system's evaporator coil, if the coil is not cleaned frequently enough. This is because this component is typically covered in condensation and is located in a warm, dark area of the unit; these three factors (i.e. warmth, darkness and moisture) enable fungal spores to thrive and multiply.
In addition to making your home smell unpleasant, mould in your unit can also serve as a health hazard to you and other household members, particularly if any of you suffer from respiratory issues, such as emphysema or asthma. As such, it's important to address this problem as soon as possible. Contact your local HVAC specialist and ask them to carry out a routine air conditioning service; this will almost always include a thorough cleaning of the evaporator coil.
A lot of air conditioning systems make some faint buzzing or rattling noises when they are first switched on; these are rarely anything to worry about. However, if you have noticed that your unit seems to be making unusual noises continually, from the moment you press the 'on' switch until you turn the system off, there may be a serious fault that needs to be repaired.
If for instance, your unit is emitting a hissing sound on a regular basis, this could mean that the refrigerant levels are too low, due to a leak that has developed somewhere in the system. In the case of a refrigerant leak, you may also notice that, in addition to the aforementioned hissing sound, the air coming from the vents is warmer than it usually is. This is not a problem that you can fix yourself; as such, if you notice this noise, you'll need to call an HVAC specialist to repair the leak.