FAQs: Do I Need a New AC Unit?

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AC Repair or Replacement?

For many homeowners, it can be difficult to tell when an air conditioning unit requires repairs, and when it’s time buy a new AC system. J.D. Swallow, a leading heating and cooling contractor serving Ottawa, reviews several situations that could call for either AC repair or replacement.

Thermostat Issues

Generally speaking, a new AC unit isn’t required if your thermostat is acting up. Thermostat issues can be traced back to an expired battery or faulty wiring, problems that our AC contractors in Ottawa can repair. One of the most common symptoms of a finicky thermostat is when one part of your house is very warm or very cold, while other parts are around the same temperature. 

Foul Odors

If you detect a foul odor wafting through your home’s ventilation system, we recommend inspecting your AC unit. If a bad smell is emanating from it, it’s likely that the unit’s wire insulation has burned out. However, if your AC system smells ok, another culprit might be mold and/or mildew buildup in your vents. If this is the case, make an appointment with us to have your home’s ductwork cleaned immediately. The both of these problems give off pungent smells, you’ll probably be able to separate the “burning” scent of fried wires from the earthy, musty odor associated with mold, mildew, and other fungi.

Unexpected Moisture

It’s common to see some condensation in/around your AC unit, especially during the summer. However, if what you see is less like condensation and more like pools of water, your AC almost certainly has a leak. Water pools near your AC system could be indicative of a blocked or broken drain tube (the tube that rids the unit of excess condensation). Address this issue sooner rather than later, because the longer you wait the greater the chance of mold/mildew developing. A more serious issue could be that your AC unit is leaking refrigerant, substance that can compromise your family’s health. This issue must be addressed immediately. Either way, it’s best to call our AC experts right away so we can diagnose the problem.

No Cool Air

This is everyone’s nightmare on a hot summer day: your AC unit is on and no cool air is coming out, even when you raise the system output to “full blast”.  There are several reasons why this could be happening, and none of them are good. For example, your AC unit may have run its course and can no longer function properly. Or, the system’s compressor has failed. In both circumstances, a new AC unit is almost definitely required. The best-case scenario is that the unit’s Freon levels are too low and need to be recharged/refilled. Depending on the system’s age, you may decide just to replace the system entirely.

Weird Sounds

If you’re gardening in your backyard one day and your AC unit suddenly begins making grinding, grating, of squealing sounds, have it inspected immediately. The problem could be something relatively benign, i.e. a branch or rock is stuck inside. On the other hand, a squealing sound may indicate that a belt has become dislodged, or one or more of the unit’s metal parts needs lubricating. More serious are grinding noises, which sometimes are indicative of broken metal bearings.

Contact an AC Expert in Ottawa

In all of these scenarios, we recommend contacting the AC experts at J.D. Swallow. We’ll assess the problem and confirm whether your AC unit requires air conditioning repair, or whether you’re better off purchasing a new system.

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