Common A/C issues during the summer and how to prevent them

Temperatures are predicted to hit the high 90s this weekend, and most of us are going to have our A/Cs running nonstop. Vic Fredlund with ABACUS says there are a few things homeowners need to keep an eye on when it comes to their A/C system’s functions:

  • Rising energy bills: Higher energy bills can be caused by several factors, including a leaky duct system, low refrigerant or an inefficient air filter. This could be due to your A/C unit working harder than usual to cool your home. If you notice that your A/C is running more often than usual, it’s a good idea to have your unit checked out.
  • Reduced airflow: If you notice that your home isn’t cooling down as quickly as it used to or that the air from your vents is weaker than usual, this could be due to several issues, including low refrigerant levels, dirty coils, or a blockage in the ductwork.
  • Strange noises: If your air conditioner starts making strange noises, this could signify that the unit is overworked and about to break down. Common A/C problems that cause strange noises include loose parts, a build-up of ice on the evaporator coil, or a problem with the compressor.
  • Leaks and smells: Water dripping from your indoor A/C unit or pooling around the base is not normal, and leaking units can cause significant damage to your home, so it’s vital to have them fixed as soon as possible. If your air conditioner emits musty or burnt smells, it could indicate that the unit is overheating or has an electrical problem. A musty or earthy aroma from your A/C could signify mold or mildew growth inside the unit.
  • Warm air: One of the most obvious signs that your air conditioner is going out is warm air from the vents. Warm air can be caused by several factors, including a low refrigerant level or a problem with the compressor. Low refrigerant levels can also cause a frost build-up in your A/C system.

As we saw in previous summers, ERCOT has asked Texans to conserve energy to alleviate the power grid. Fredlund shared some ways you can do so safely.

RELATED: Demand on Texas power grid expected to nearly double in 6 years

"If you're in a room, and there's a ceiling fan, the airflow of that ceiling fan moving across your skin will help have a cooling effect on the skin at higher temperature. That way, you are able to run that air conditioner a little less, which puts a little bit less demand on the grid," says Fredlund.

Fredlund says if you think your A/C unit may be giving out, quickly call a professional before it does because it's a busy season for A/C conditioning and HVAC operators.