As winter breathes its last chill over the northern states, warm weather will start to approach. And while spring brings a warm welcome, spring eventually turns into the one thing we all forget we hate about these months: hot weather. Even before the peak of summer, you can find yourself sweating in your sizzling car, losing your breath walking on a trail, or fanning yourself in your own home. What’s the deal? The terrible cold has passed and now the uncomfortable heat is on its way. When do we get a break?
The truth is that we don’t. This means that you need a well-functioning heater and air conditioner in order to survive any weather pattern that may come your way.
Clearly—if you’ve made it this far—your heater has supported you throughout the winter. Now you have summer to worry about. Any wise homeowner would check on their air conditioning in St. Paul, MN, before temperatures climb too high to be bearable. We recommend that you test your A/C in the following 10 ways as soon as possible.
- An obvious first choice involves reaching your hand out in the direction of the nearest air duct. Do you feel any air coming out of the duct? Is it blowing fairly quickly? Does the air feel cool? These are basic signs of a working A/C.
- Is your air conditioner cooling your home’s interior evenly? Take a stroll through every room of your home. There should not be stark temperature differences between different rooms, even where direct sunlight comes through.
- Check the air temperature differential, or the difference between the temperature your home reaches when the air conditioner is on and the temperature inside your return air duct, which directs air back into your unit. There should be a difference of 15 to 20 degrees between these 2 measurements in a working A/C.
- Inspect your unit for proper function. Does the unit run continuously or does the fan run for a brief period of time and then stop?
- While you are by your unit, listen for unusual sounds such as rattling, cranking, vibrating, or grinding.
- Check your unit for unusual movements or vibration. Your unit is built to run in a fairly sedentary manner; even when the fan is whirling, the exterior of the machine should remain still.
- Is your unit leaking fluids? This should never happen. Check the tray or foundation under your A/C unit for moisture. There is a chance that coolant or excess environmental moisture is loose inside your machine.
- When fluids leak from your system, they do not always spill out under the unit. Often, coolant and other fluids only spill internally. This is a sign of an A/C unit on the verge of a breakdown. A dye test can check the unit for subtle or hidden leaks. Because this involves adding chemical dye to the coolant itself and interacting with the internal components of the machine, this test should only be performed by a professional.
- There should be no odors coming out of your unit or vents. Stinky air is a sign of any number of problems. A healthy A/C will be completely odorless, as well as the air it blows into your home.
- For best results, hire a professional A/C repairman to inspect your system. They have the expertise to perform a full and comprehensive check to determine if your A/C is working properly.
If your A/C unit fails any of the above tests, we recommend that you have your air conditioner serviced as soon as possible. As we all know, air conditioning in St. Paul, MN, is no joke. We may not live in the deserts of the Southwest, but sometimes it certainly feels that way.