As a homeowner, you'll eventually need to repair or replace some of the oldest appliances in your home to maintain the health and safety of your loved ones. One of the appliances you might not consider necessary to repair or replace right away is your outdoor AC unit, especially if it appears in good condition. Even if the unit looks fine on the outside, it may actually have some hidden problems that affect its ability to cool your home over time. Here are reasons to repair or replace your aging outdoor AC unit before it breaks down and how you can go about doing it.
The Unit's Fan Stops Spinning or Sounds Funny
The outdoor unit, or condenser, relies on a fan to help it remove heat during operation. The fan's motor receives electrical power from the capacitor. Old age and other factors can wear down the capacitor and interfere with how it transfers power to the fan's motor. The fan can quit spinning if it doesn't receive enough electricity.
The fan may also make strange humming or buzzing sounds as it tries to spin. The capacitor, which also powers the compressor motor in the unit, may stop working or overheat as well.
You can try to replace the capacitor yourself, but it may not be a good idea. If the capacitor ran hot or poorly for a long time, it may have inadvertently caused damage to the compressor motor.
The Unit Sounds Weak or Runs Poorly
The condenser unit's compressor is the heart of the cooling system. Without it, the system won't run at all. If your outdoor unit seems sluggish or weak, it may be time to replace it. The compressor may be on its way out.
One of the ways to tell if the compressor is bad is to check the unit when it's on. If the motor is about to quit or burn out, it may overheat regularly. A compressor should release or transfer its heat to the condenser coil during operation. But if the compressor is weak or dying, it may not perform this action well. The heat stays inside the compressor instead. In some cases, the heat can back up into the indoor unit and make your home feel uncomfortably warm.
Compressors that have a hard time turning on or staying on during operation can also cause problems for your cooling system. The part can trip your circuit breaker or cause power fluctuations in the house. A hard-starting or running compressor may eventually give out from stress.
What Should You Do?
If you haven't done so yet, contact an AC installation contractor for assistance. A contractor can examine your condenser unit's fan and compressor for the issues mentioned above. Although it may be tempting for you to do so, avoid replacing or repairing the parts yourself. Even if you turn off your cooling system during the repairs, electricity can still travel through it and shock you.
A contractor may also make recommendations on the best replacement for your outdoor unit. The unit should be strong enough to support the cooling demands of your home, as well as efficient enough to save you money on electrical expenses. If you select a unit that is too small or too large for your cooling needs, it may cause problems for you in the future.
Finally, an AC contractor can install the unit properly. Condenser units need to connect directly to the indoor unit to work properly. If you connect the wrong wires or hoses to the units, it may not function well or if at all.
To learn more about your aging outdoor unit and how to replace it, contact a contractor today.