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Best Ways To Find That Your Air Conditioning System Needs Maintenance

Best Ways To Find That Your Air Conditioning System Needs Maintenance

Air conditioning systems play a vital role in our lives, keeping our indoor spaces comfortable and ensuring we have a breathable and healthy environment. While we often focus on their cooling capabilities, these systems also remove humidity and provide fresh outdoor air in some cases. However, like any complex machinery, air conditioning systems are prone to wear and tear over time. Regular maintenance is crucial to keep them functioning efficiently. In this article, we will explore common warning signs that suggest your air conditioning system is in need of maintenance.

Excessive Noise And Vibration

Best Ways To Find That Your Air Conditioning System Needs Maintenance

It’s normal for mechanical equipment to produce some noise and vibration, but when these levels become excessive, it’s a clear indication that something is amiss. There can be several reasons behind heightened noise and vibration, including misaligned shafts, damaged mounting pads, voltage imbalances, or motor winding issues in electrical motors.

Excessive vibration not only affects the comfort of occupants but can also accelerate the wear and tear of the system’s components. Moreover, it can propagate through the building’s structure, potentially causing damage to other building elements. Sensitive equipment like HID lamps and suspended ceiling grids are particularly susceptible to damage from excessive vibration.

Air Ducts Emitting Particles Or Unpleasant Odors

Over time, the interior of air ducts can accumulate dust and other pollutants, leading to the release of particles into indoor spaces through air diffusers. While this might not necessarily mean that the entire air duct system is contaminated, it is a warning sign that should prompt an inspection.

Cleaning air ducts is generally recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only when necessary, not as part of routine maintenance. This is because duct cleaning can be disruptive and may even cause damage if not done carefully. When addressing this issue, it’s important to pay special attention to cleaning fan coils and evaporators, as their delicate metallic fins can be easily bent.

Signs That Your Air Conditioning System Needs Maintenance

If you detect the presence of mold, it’s imperative to take immediate action. Mold can cause allergies and respiratory problems, particularly for individuals with asthma. Mold spores are resilient and can spread rapidly, making it challenging to eliminate completely. Here are some key considerations when dealing with mold in your air ducts:

  • Severe mold infestations require professional remediation.
  • While smooth surfaces can be cleaned, porous materials may need replacement.
  • Mold spores can still trigger health issues even after they are dead, so thorough cleaning is essential.

If you’ve noticed a rise in respiratory problems among building occupants, mold in the air ducts could be the culprit.

Unexpected Increases In Electricity Bills

Best Ways To Find That Your Air Conditioning System Needs Maintenance

A sudden surge in your electricity bills without any expansion of your property or addition of new equipment is often a sign that your HVAC system’s efficiency is declining. However, it’s crucial to consider certain factors when comparing power bills:

  • Seasonal variations can affect electricity consumption, with cooling systems being the primary load during the summer months.
  • Always compare the kilowatt-hour consumption, not just the dollar amount, to ensure an accurate assessment.
  • If kilowatt-hour consumption has risen over consecutive summers, it’s a strong indication that your cooling systems require maintenance.

HVAC inspections provide an excellent opportunity for conducting a comprehensive energy audit. This allows you to identify potential energy-saving measures not only for your HVAC system but also for other building systems, helping you improve overall energy efficiency.


Maintaining your air conditioning system is essential for keeping it in optimal working condition. By paying attention to warning signs like excessive noise and vibration, particles in air ducts, and unexpected spikes in electricity bills, you can address issues early and ensure the longevity and efficiency of your HVAC system. Regular maintenance not only keeps your indoor environment comfortable but also contributes to better energy efficiency and lower operating costs. Don’t wait for a breakdown; take proactive measures to keep your air conditioning system in top shape.

Signs That Your Air Conditioning System Needs Maintenance

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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