As a homeowner, it is important to know when your air conditioning repairs require intervention beyond your skill level. When the repairs are beyond your skill level, you need to bring in a professional air conditioning repair team to assist you with taking care of your system.
#1: High Energy Bills
In general, your energy usage should stay pretty consistent from one year to the next. The amount you are charged may change, but the energy you use should be rather consistent. Many energy companies on your bill will show you the difference between your energy usage that month and the previous month and will show you the difference between your bill this year and your bill last year.
If you notice that you are using significantly more energy this year than last year, that may be due to your HVAC system not working correctly. A poorly running HVAC system can drain the power and raise your bill. If you have an increase in your energy bill you can't explain, you should start by looking at your appliances to see if one of them is pulling more energy than it should. As the HVAC system is one of the highest draining appliances, it makes sense to start there.
#2: Strange Sounds
The sounds that come from your air conditioning unit should be consistent and something you can count on. If you start to notice strange sounds, ranging from bubbling and hissing to metal scraping against something, you are going to want to contact your HVAC professional. Strange sounds are a sign that something is wrong with your system.
For example, bubbling sounds often mean refrigerant is leaking from your system. A metal-on-metal sound could indicate damage to a fan or the motor. Hissing could indicate leaking refrigerant or damage to the ductwork. Strange sounds are your HVAC system's way of letting you know something is wrong.
Short cycling happens when your unit keeps turning on and off without sufficiently cooling off your home. Short-cycling is harmful to your HVAC system, as it puts unnecessary strain on it and accelerates the wearing down of your unit.
This can happen for a number of reasons. You could have a refrigerant leak. You could have a clogged air filter. You could have an AC that is too small for your home. A professional will be able to quickly diagnose and figure out what is causing your unit to short-cycle.
If your unit is driving up your energy bills, making strange sounds, or short-cycling, it is time to call in a professional to address your HVAC system. They will be able to repair your system and get it working correctly again.