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Your Port Charlotte air conditioner works tirelessly to keep your home comfortable in Florida weather. However, this means that your Port Charlotte AC unit also experiences a lot of wear and tear.

If not properly maintained, an air conditioner can start to work below its peak effectiveness. This can cause your home’s thermostat to skyrocket alongside your monthly utility bills. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can watch out for that can help you figure out when you should talk to a Port Charlotte HVAC professional about inspecting your unit and getting it back on track.

Read on for five signs that you are long overdue for air conditioning maintenance and repair.

1. Hot Air Is the Clearest Sign You Need Your Port Charlotte Air Conditioner Maintenance

If your Port Charlotte AC unit is blowing hot air, you should avoid using it at all. Usually, hot air can be attributed to a refrigerant leak, which prevents your unit from cooling down the air that passes through it. This effectively turns your Port Charlotte AC system into a glorified whole-house fan and will burn a ton of energy for no real benefit.

Always double-check the thermostat to make sure that it is set correctly. If your thermostat is not to blame, get in touch with a Port Charlotte HVAC professional to look at the unit. You’ll likely have to have the refrigerant lines replaced and the refrigerant itself refilled, which requires special equipment and knowledge to do.

2. Port Charlotte AC – Not Enough Airflow

If the temperature of the air coming out of your vents is cold, but there isn’t a whole lot of air flowing, your air conditioner and ducts should be looked at by a professional. There are several reasons why airflow may be restricted, but the most common reason is a clogged air filter. Your air conditioner’s air filter needs to be replaced regularly, ideally every season (though some high-performance filters last longer).

In other cases, the internal parts of your air conditioner may be damaged or worn down. This is much more likely with older systems that have seen years of service. A burned-out motor, damaged fan blades, or other similar issues can reduce how well your AC unit can move air throughout your home.

Finally, the last reason why you may be experiencing low airflow in your home doesn’t lie with your AC unit at all. Instead, your ducts may be to blame. Dust and other particles can build up within your ductwork, creating blockages that prevent air from moving freely to different rooms of your home.

Clogged ducts are the most likely culprit if you find that some rooms in your house receive good airflow, but others do not. You’ll also likely notice that your home’s air quality is quite low, as lots of dust and particles will be blown around by your AC system.

3. Port Charlotte Air Conditioner – Leaking Water

If you notice that there is water pooling around your air conditioner, you should stop running the unit straight away. Your unit will produce condensation normally as it cools down air, but that condensation is usually drained out of your unit. A blocked drain line can lead to water leaking into your home.

Water damage is something you want to avoid, as it can cause tons of damage in your home and contribute to mold and mildew growth.

Pools of water can also indicate a refrigerant leak. As the gas leaks from your unit, it can cause the moisture in the air around your air conditioner to condense or even freeze. If this is the case, you’ll notice your unit is pumping warmer air throughout your home, as already mentioned.

4. Your Port Charlotte Air Conditioner Makes Loud Noises

All air conditioning units will make some noise when they turn on, but that noise should always be in the background. The instant that you can hear your air conditioner over other sounds in your home, especially if the noise doesn’t sound like a general hum of the fan, you should have a professional inspect it.

Grinding, squealing, and banging are all common sounds that can come from an AC unit that needs maintenance. Loose or damaged belts, a damaged fan or motor, or similar mechanical problems can all contribute to these noises. You should avoid operating your AC as much as possible. Continued movement could cause the damage to get worse and harder to fix.

5. Foul-Smelling Air from your Port Charlotte Air Conditioner

Your ducts are likely to blame if your home smells musty when your AC turns on. This means that there is likely mold growing in your ducts, as organic matter and moisture have accumulated over time. This is of particular concern, as mold spores can be blown throughout your home if they’re in the ductwork, which represents a number of health risks for you and your family.

Alternatively, if there is a burning smell, the issue could lie with your unit’s wiring. Frayed or damaged wiring could be burning or sparking. This is a serious fire risk and means that you should shut down your AC and talk to an HVAC professional and electrician as quickly as possible.

Act Quickly When Your Port Charlotte AC Is Acting Up

The best way to avoid emergencies and to keep your unit operating as efficiently and effectively as possible is to get regular air conditioning maintenance. Since Florida doesn’t really have a “cold” season, you’ll want to have a professional look at your unit at least twice a year at regular intervals. This can help you diagnose issues before they become serious.

Want to schedule air conditioning maintenance? Get in touch with our team if you’re in the  Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda or North Port areas.