How to tell if your AC is broken

On a stuffy summer’s day when clothes stick to your skin and no amount of ice cream will cool you down, it’s soothing to know you can trust your air conditioner to provide a perfectly temperate environment.

To guarantee this, we recommend a service for your AC unit every year. This is when an engineer specialising in air conditioning takes a good look at your unit to make sure it is sufficiently clean, unblocked and filled with the correct amount of refrigerant. It is the surest way to enjoy cool air in the home whenever the temperature rises.

However, if you’re not getting the performance expected from your AC, how can you be sure it’s broken before calling a trusted repairer for help? Thankfully, FM Mechanical Ltd have put together this handy guide to explain when your AC needs immediate attention.


Failure to Cool

If you walk into an air conditioned room only to be disappointed, check the air filter on your unit for blockages and contaminants. Inefficient airflow through a blocked filter hinders the exchange of hot air for cool, and eventually leads to unit failure. For every 30-60 days of use, your air filter should be swapped out for a new one. If you have many people living at home or have pets, change your air filter at the shorter interval of 30 days.

Generally poor performance in old AC units can be a sign that the entire system is becoming worn and unsustainable. The average life of a regularly used AC unit is 10-12 years, depending on the model and the local climate. Each AC has an estimated lifecycle, so check your manual to see if a replacement is the more economical option.


Increased Energy Bills

A sharp increase in your energy bills can require a more complicated fix than changing the air filter. A service by a professional engineer will locate the problem after a thorough inspection, and often the cost of simple repairs are factored into the service cost. Refrigerant levels, inspecting the condenser coils, and many other technical operations that cannot be done by DIY means, are completed by an engineer. With an AC unit performing at peak performance, you can expect energy efficient operation, and an immediate improvement in your energy bill.


Noise and Smells

Excessive moisture, noise and smells from your AC unit could be a sign that you need repairs as soon as possible. First, change the air filter to see if there is any improvement. If this fails to cure the bad smell and moisture problem, then call a professional to take a look. Smells and moisture may be eliminated by changing an old air filter, but noisy operation often means the unit must be checked for blockages and loose mechanical parts.


Temperature Fluctuations

If your thermostat is wireless, keeping it near a window or in places such as the kitchen where temperatures vary throughout the day can cause the AC to fluctuate. This can overwork the AC’s mechanical parts overtime as it must battle with the irregular temperatures reported by the thermostat. Relocate the thermostat if it is near an oven or window sill, preferably somewhere with no direct sunlight or heat source.

If you have checked the thermostat and the unit continues to operate erratically, then a thorough inspection will be required to check over the refrigerant lines, the condenser, evaporator coil, fan and every other mechanical part within the unit.


FM Mechanical Ltd are the premier suppliers, installers and maintenance service for all models of air conditioning unit across Doncaster, Hull, Rotherham, Sheffield and throughout the UK. For a perfectly temperate environment when you need it most, the team at FM Mechanical Ltd can satisfy every installation, servicing and repair need, whatever the make and model of air conditioner. For commercial and domestic customers alike, we offer AC units from premium brands like Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Toshiba, and offer service packages to keep your AC running perfectly all year round. For more information on any of our services, contact our team today!