Knowing The Signs That You Need AC Repair | Charleston, SC


When the temperatures start to climb in Charleston, SC you rely on your air conditioner. During the historic heatwaves now facing the nation, AC units are being pushed to their limits, so they tend to break down and need AC Repair. Sadly AC problems always seem to happen at the worst possible time, when we need them during a hot summer day. Did you know that oftentimes you can avoid a complete AC breakdown by learning to know the signs that your AC is on the verge of a breakdown? It turns out our AC units often tell us that the unit is in need of some attention from an air conditioning company. You can avoid costly AC breakdowns by learning to tell when your AC unit needs some love and care, you just have to learn what your air conditioner is trying to tell you.

The heat is on now in Charleston, SC, so you might want to think about preventive care for your AC unit. Just like your car or truck, so too does your AC unit need preventive care to ensure that it works properly. Cars need an oil change, AC units need things like a filter change. Yet your AC needs more than just the filters changed. The inside unit needs to be cleaned yearly, parts like your condenser coils can build up dirt and grime on them. While it might not seem like a little dirt and grime could end up with you needing AC repair this is exactly the case. Dirt and grime for example building up on the condenser coil can cause the coil to freeze over, which prevents heat transfer, resulting in a slew of problems for your AC unit.

You should have your AC tuned up every spring when Charleston, SC AC companies are the least occupied with service calls for broken down AC units. However, it is never too late to call Carney & Son 72 Degrees Air Conditioning and Heating for an AC tune-up. You might be wondering what exactly happens during an AC tune-up. Your HVAC technician will check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty or clogged up with pet hair. They will also ensure your thermostat is calibrated correctly. They will clean your blower components and your condenser and evaporator coils. The technician will maintain all of the many moving parts of your AC unit, helping you to avoid costly repair. Your technician will also check your refrigerant levels and refill your refrigerant if it is low. Your technician will also determine your voltage and amperage is correct. They will also check over all of the many electrical connections and electronic parts of your system. Your repair technician will also check your blower motor over as well as the blower belt. Pretty much every working part of your system gets inspected, cleaned, and maintained. Any problems that could lead to costly AC repair will likely be caught early or prevented by servicing the unit with an AC tune-up.

Now that we have clarified how important an AC tune-up is to prevent costly AC repair, let us discuss the signs of AC failure or the need for AC replacement. Your air conditioner will likely warn you via sounds, smells, or other signs that it needs servicing or AC repair. Most times if you catch an AC repair early you can avoid costly repairs due to complete breakdowns. Here are the top signs that you are in need of a repair for your home.

Strange Sounds

This is the number one sign you are in need of AC repair for your home. Your AC unit should only emit a low and steady blowing sound indoors. Your outdoor unit will make some loud noises, you just need to learn what noises are normal for the outdoor unit and which ones signify that the unit needs AC repair. Let’s discuss some of the sounds you might hear from an AC unit that signify your unit may need a repair in Charleston, SC.

Banging Sounds

If you are hearing banging noises you are likely dealing with an internal part that has come loose. It might be a component that has shifted out of place. It could be just a matter of a few screws or bolts that need to be tightened. It could also be a faulty spring. You want to attend to this issue before it causes a complete breakdown resulting in the need for costly AC repair.

Buzzing Sounds

If you hear a buzzing noise from your AC chances are you are in need of AC repair for your home. The two most common causes of a buzzing sound coming from your unit are motor problems and capacitor problems. You could also be dealing with loose parts, debris inside of the unit ( which is removed during an AC tune-up!), a dirty condenser coil (Coils are cleaned during a tune-up!), or possible electrical problems. Since you could be dealing with electrical problems you want your AC unit seen as soon as possible to avoid the potential for fire.

Hissing Sounds

This is a sound you do not want to hear. It could signify that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak, as refrigerant escaping the system makes a hissing sound. You want to call your local AC repair company right away if you hear this sound. It can also be an internal valve leak inside of your compressor. You could also be dealing with a compressor problem, so if you hear hissing from your unit yes it is a serious issue.

Bubbling or Gurgling Sounds

If you hear bubbling or gurgling sounds from your AC unit your compressor may have a refrigerant leak. You do not want to be dealing with a refrigerant leak as this can be dangerous for you and your family. If you hear this noise call your local AC repair company right away.


If you hear this noise coming from the outside unit it is often the sign of either loose hardware or a failing motor. The louder the sound is the more serious the problem is in most cases. This sound can also be caused by debris inside the unit. We should point out that any debris inside of the unit is removed during an AC tune-up.

Screeching, Screaming or Squealing

This is the top sign to call your local AC repair company. It can oftentimes signal that components like your blower wheel or fan motor need replacement. If you hear screeching it can also be the sign of damaged belts or bearings inside of your unit. Rarely it can indicate that your unit has a dangerous pressure buildup, which is an emergency situation. If you hear this sound you should turn off the AC unit right away and make that call for AC repair.

Strange Smells

If your air conditioner is starting to emit a strange smell you have a problem. If you are smelling a rotten egg smell coming from your air conditioner you might be dealing with a gas leak, which can be dangerous if left unattended. If you smell an electrical or burning smell you should shut the unit off right away and call your local AC repair company for emergency AC repair service. You do not want to deal with an electrical fire or risk further damage to your AC unit. If you are smelling a musty smell coming from your AC unit you are likely dealing with mold or mildew inside of the unit and/or your ductwork. Mold is a toxic fungus that you do want you and your family to breathe in. Sometimes mold develops due to a clogged duct or excessive moisture inside of your AC unit.

Reduced Air Flow

If your AC unit has reduced airflow you are dealing with a serious problem. For starters your AC unit will have to work extra hard to try and cool down your home, resulting in higher than normal utility bills. Reduced airflow can have many possible causes. One possible cause is a dirty air filter (Which is changed during an AC tune-up, see a pattern here? AC tune-ups are important!), which is a simple matter to fix. Another cause is a frozen evaporator coil. Your evaporator coil is responsible for cooling your home. If the coil gets too cold, ice can form on the coil if the moisture is high. This ice will hinder the flow of air into your home. Frozen evaporator coils happen most often due to two causes, either low airflow from a dirty air filter blocked vents or a blower that is malfunctioning. The other cause is low refrigerant levels. If you have low refrigerant it is most often due to a leak. If you have reduced airflow, call your local AC repair company for service before your unit breaks down completely!

Air Isn’t Cold

If your AC unit is not blowing cold air you have a problem and need to call your local AC repair company for service. The problem likely rests with either your thermostat or low levels of refrigerant in your system. You will want to check your thermostat settings to see if you have the house set to cool down to the right temperature. If everything seems fine with your thermostat the thermostat could be broken or you could be dealing with a refrigerant leak. You do not want to be dealing with a refrigerant leak as this is a gas that is dangerous to you and your family. If you suspect that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak you should call for emergency AC repair service as this is a dangerous situation. You could be dealing with a lesser issue however as some AC units shut down if the AC air filter is clogged. This precautionary measure is to prevent damage to your AC system. Many people do not know how serious an issue a dirty AC filter actually is. You should change your AC filter every 3 months, sooner if you have pets as pet hair can clog an AC filter rather quickly. You can also have warm air blowing from your system if the AC unit has an ice buildup inside of it. If your coils get dirty or your filters get clogged, or if you have a low refrigerant level you could have ice build up in your system. If your AC unit drains get clogged you can also get warm air blowing into your ducts as the AC unit will shut down due to an AC safety feature. If your AC unit’s compressor becomes dirty you can also be dealing with warm airflow. If your refrigerant levels dip too low you can also be dealing with warm air flooding your home through the vents. Only a technician from a licensed AC Repair company can get to the bottom of the issue and make the needed repairs.

Little Air Blows Out of Vents

If you have very little airflow you have a serious problem and will need a local AC repair company to get to the bottom of the issue. This problem is similar to your air not blowing cold. Oftentimes customers report that they feel cool air coming through the vents but the airflow is weak. This problem is likely due to one of two causes. The first cause is a problem with your ducts. Perhaps the ducts have become blocked with dust, grime, and pet hair. If this is the case your ducts will need to be cleaned by a professional AC repair company. In Charleston, SC, Carney & Son 72 Degrees Air Conditioning and Heating specialize in cleaning out clogged ductwork. The other potential issue causing low airflow is if you have a failing compressor. You will need to hire a professional to be sure of the exact cause of your low airflow.

If you have any of the above signs of trouble with your central air conditioner, call the professionals at Carney & Son 72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating of Charleston, SC. We have decades of experience in troubleshooting failing and broken air conditioners. We will also gladly give your AC a tune-up any time of the year! We are open 24/7 for your convenience so call us any time day or night when problems strike with your central air conditioner!

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