One of the most common questions we receive at Howard Air is how to tell if an air conditioner is working or if the unit is in need of maintenance. Aside from putting their hands over the vents to feel for a gust of cold air, there are some simple things we recommend our Arizona clients look for when inspecting their air conditioner.
Tips to Keep in Mind
We advise clients to first look at the temperature differential. If the temperature outside is 80 degrees or higher, set the thermostat for 70 degrees or lower. As the air conditioner kicks on and starts to run, place a fridge thermometer inside one of the air ducts, and one within the return air duct. Record these numbers at 10 minutes and subtract the air duct reading from the return air duct reading. If the difference is less than 14 degrees it can be a sign that the system is low on refrigerant.
Our technicians also recommend that clients inspect their air filters. A dirty, clogged air filter is one of the most common signs your air conditioner is not working properly. It’s an easy fix, and replacing the air filter as needed can help ensure proper airflow and cooling efficiency throughout the home.
A visual inspection of the air conditioner is another way to see if the unit is functioning properly. Pools of water or refrigerant shouldn’t be present and can indicate leaks from broken lines or clogged drainage holes. It is also a good idea to listen carefully for signs your air conditioner is not working properly. Squeaks, squeals, grinding and banging noises are common indications that belts, bearings or other parts are wearing out.
We also recommend clients test their breakers for signs of shorts as well as the batteries within their thermostat. It’s common for homeowners in Arizona to fear their AC has gone on the blink after summer storms sweep through the area when, in most cases, the storm merely tripped the breaker.
Sometimes, a home that is not cooling sufficiently has nothing to do with the air conditioner itself. Sunlight from windows, air leaks around doors/windows, inadequate or shifting insulation and cooking and cleaning in the daytime can raise the temperature in an Arizona home. If the air conditioner is working properly, then it is necessary to look at these outside factors and address the ones that are negatively impacting the home’s temperature.
Call Us For Help!
The team at Howard Air would be happy to help you with your air conditioning needs. We invite you to contact us to learn more about our services and to schedule a service call to inspect your air conditioner.