You can encounter a variety of issues with your air conditioning unit. Many of these issues are not an emergency. You can continue to run and use your air conditioner until an air conditioning repair company is able to make their way to your home and fix the problem. Other issues are emergencies. You should shut your air conditioner off and cease using it. In these cases, you may need to contact an air conditioning repair company who can fix air conditioning emergencies immediately, even if it is a weekend or after hours. However, if you are unfamiliar with air conditioners, you may not know what problems are emergencies and which are not. Here are three air conditioning emergencies you can encounter and why it is important to shut off and cease use of your unit right away.
A Burning Odor
It is very common to smell a burning odor when you turn your heater on for the first time after it has sat idle for the summer. However, this is not something you should smell when your HVAC unit is turned to cool or your air conditioner is running. This can indicate a serious problem, such as the motor going out on your air conditioner or burning electrical wires. If you notice a burning odor coming into your home through the vents when the air conditioner is running, or smell the odor when you are standing next to your unit, you need to turn it off and stop using it until a professional can examine it and diagnose the issue. If you fail to do so and the problem is burning electrical wires, a fire can break out. If the odor is caused by a motor going out on your unit, and you continue to run the air conditioner, the motor can be blown. In this case, the motor will need to be replaced, when repair may have been an option had you shut the unit off timely.
Scraping or Banging Noises
When your air conditioning unit is running, you may hear a variety of sounds. A soft hum indicates the unit is working properly. A few small squeals may indicate a belt is lose or that the unit needs to be oiled. This should be addressed in a timely manner, but is not an emergency. However, if you hear loud banging noises or scraping sounds coming from your air conditioner, you may have an emergency. Shut your air conditioning unit down immediately if you hear these sounds. These sounds may indicate that a stick or rock has entered your air conditioner and is damaging internal parts. It may indicate that a belt has broken and needs to be replaced. Metal scraping or grinding noises may indicate a bolt or screw has become loose. And loud banging noises may indicate your compressor is running at a high level of pressure. All of these issues can cause permanent damage to your air conditioning unit if you allow the unit to run. Call in a professional promptly to get your unit fixed and operating properly.
Your Unit Is Blowing Hot Air
If your air conditioning unit is blowing hot air, it may be out of refrigerant, or there may be a problem with your condenser or coils. Unfortunately, if the unit is blowing hot air, all you are doing is wasting electricity. It is not going to suddenly begin blowing cold air if you allow it to run, and you could cause further damage to the unit. Turn the unit off and call an air conditioning repair company to fix your unit so you don't have to suffer in the heat without an air conditioner.
If something isn't quite right with your air conditioning unit, you have to decide whether to turn the unit off or continue to allow it to run. Unfortunately, if you make the wrong choice, you can cause further damage to your unit. If your air conditioner is producing a burning smell, is making loud banging or scraping sounds, or is only blowing hot air, you need to turn your unit off and call an air conditioning repair company like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc.