Spring is here.  Birds…flowers…warm weather.  And time to get ready for the hot weather by making sure your air conditioner is in good working order and does not need to be replaced.


Here are some warning signs that it might be time for a new air conditioning unit.


  1. Old age. Air conditioners – even if they are well maintained, have an average life of about 15 years.  If yours is approaching that age, even if it is working well, you might want to consider investing in a new air conditioning unit, which probably will also run more efficiently.  If you don’t you run the risk of the system failing on a blistering hot day.
  2. Blowing hot air. The whole point of having an air conditioner is to keep your home cool.  If it’s blowing hot air through your vents and into your home, you need to check that out because it could be a problem with the compressor – a vital component of the system.
  3. Not blowing enough air. If air is coming out of your vents without a lot of force, that means there could be a problem with the blower motor.
  4. Frequent or short cycling. If your HVAC turns off before the cycle is completed, it could be a sign your system is running harder than it should.
  5. Frequent and increasingly expensive repairs. If you need to have your AC serviced frequently, you must ask yourself if you would be better off just investing in a new system.  Rule of thumb – multiply the age of your unit by the cost of your repair.  If it is higher than $5,000, consider a new air conditioning unit.
  6. Rising energy costs. The U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates that 19% of a household’s electricity use goes to cooling. If your electric bill is rising and it is not due to higher temperatures, that could be a sign your unit is not running as efficiently as possible.
  7. Rising humidity. Another function of a well-performing AC unit is to reduce humidity in your home.  This is important, as humidity can contribute to the development of mold and other allergens, which is a health risk for people with asthma or other respiratory diseases.
  8. Electrical damage. Loose connections and frayed wires can cause damage to the electrical components of your system.
  9. Leaks can be either water or refrigerant escaping from the unit.  Both may require expensive repairs. Water leaks can cause mold to develop in wood, walls and carpeting, which is also a health hazard and could lead to additional repairs.
  10. Frozen coils. If you are experiencing a refrigerant leak, it could cause the condenser coils to freeze up.  This could cause the compressor to overheat and potentially burn out.
  11. Strange noises. AC units will also make some noise, especially when they are first turned on for the season.  But if you hear odd noises such as banging, squealing, screeching, grinding or scraping, that could signal a major issue.
  12. Unpleasant odors. If you smell dust or mold when you turn the AC on, it may indicate the presence of bacteria or fungus.  Not only is that a sign of a problem with your unit, but it is also a health hazard.

Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric Can Help You with AC Repair and Replacement

Ravinia Plumbing’s trained heating and cooling system technicians can help you determine whether to repair or replace your existing unit. Our customers have relied on us since 1928 (that’s 96 years!) for quality products, knowledgeable technicians, and superior service, including 24/7/365 emergency service. That is why we’ve made a name for ourselves as the most trusted plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical company in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.