It's nearly the end of August, the kids are about to head back to school, and you've started to think about cool fall days ahead. Almost as if on cue, you've started to notice something strange about your air conditioner. Maybe it's making a whirring, buzzing, or banging noise. It could be that it's working harder to cool your rooms. Some rooms in your home might feel warmer than others, and other rooms might be too chilly. Since summer's drawing to a close, you might figure that you can hold off on scheduling air conditioning service in Pittsburgh, PA, until next year.
Not so fast — if you think there's something up with your air conditioner, the time to do something about it is sooner, rather than later. Letting your air conditioner continue working with any issues or problems it's having now can make those issues worse over time. Even if you plan on switching off your AC for the season tomorrow, it's a smart move to schedule one last AC repair in Pittsburgh, PA, before summer comes to an end. Here are three reasons why.
An Inefficient Air Conditioner Costs More to Operate
It might be that the thing that lets you know something is up with your air conditioner isn't the unit itself or a notable change in your home's comfort level. Instead, it could be your home's energy bill. The average home in Pittsburgh spends about 5% of the energy it uses on cooling the home.
If you've seen a sudden uptick in your electricity bill, and you haven't made any other dramatic changes to your lifestyle, such as buying an electric car or installing new appliances, your air conditioner could be the culprit. When an AC is wearing out, has dirty, clogged filters, or has other problems, it needs to use more energy. Your home's not any cooler, but your energy bill sure is higher.
Scheduling an appointment with a technician for air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh, PA, can mean that you see a notable drop in your home energy costs during the remaining months of summer.
Summer's Not Over Yet
Although people often think of August as the last month of summer and Labor Day weekend is considered summer's last hurrah, the season actually continues until nearly the end of September. As summer goes on, so do its warm temperatures and muggy conditions. It's not unheard for Pittsburgh to see 80-degree or hotter days even as the calendar gets closer to October.
It's also not unheard of for the area to experience a snap warm spell in the middle of fall. There have been days when it's felt like summer, even when it's been close to Halloween. That can mean that you might end up needing to use your air conditioner unexpectedly in the autumn. You want it to be there for you, in good working order, and without any issues.
Small Problems Can Snowball into Big Problems
Left alone, small issues with your air conditioner have a tendency to balloon into major ones. That faint buzzing you hear now could be a full-on roar by next spring due to loose fan blades that became looser over the winter or debris that was allowed to build up in the condenser. A dirty air filter not only means your air conditioner needs to work harder, but it can also reduce the overall indoor air quality of your home, contributing to asthma and allergy problems.
Major problems with your air conditioning in Pittsburgh, PA, typically cost more to fix than small issues. If you let your AC sit over the winter without giving it the attention it needs today, you might find that you're facing a significant repair bill when late spring comes around again.
Late-Season Preventative Care for Your Air Conditioner
What should you do if you notice any problems with your AC in August or September? Your best option is to have a technician come out to inspect your system. After working hard to keep your home cool and your family comfortable during the summer, your air conditioner might have a clogged filter, dirty coils, or low refrigerant level.
During their visit, the technician will take a look at your air conditioner and diagnose the issue. It might be a quick fix, such as replacing the air filter or cleaning the coils. The issue might also be easily amended by replacing the fan motor belts or fixing bent fins.
If the problem is more serious, the technician will let you know and will review your options with you. You might choose to have the issue repaired, or it might make more economic sense to replace your air conditioner with a new model. Depending on the age of your system and the overall condition of it, a replacement can be more cost-effective in the long run.
It might also be that the problem with your air conditioner has little to do with the unit or system itself and more to do with its surroundings. If the compressor is located in a sunny spot, it can easily overheat, causing it to work harder to keep your home cool. Planting a tree or shrub nearby (but not too close) can give the unit shade, lowering its overall temperature.
Another factor that can make your air conditioner act up is the thermostat. It's possible for a thermostat to be miscalibrated, meaning it doesn't accurately read the temperature in the room. A miscalibrated thermostat can cause your AC to run when it doesn't need to or can prevent it from running when it should. The fix is often to readjust the thermostat or replace it.
It's never too late in the season to schedule an inspection or tune-up of your home's air conditioning. Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers AC service in Pittsburgh, PA. If your air conditioner is making strange noises, not cooling effectively or if you've noticed an unexplained increase in your home energy bills, give us a call, and one of our technicians will come out to inspect your system and recommend what to do next.