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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Watch Your AC for These Early Season Malfunctions

ice-patternSoon you’ll start to run your air conditioning system to cool down your house. During the lull in the weather is the best time to call our team members to arrange for maintenance for your AC so it’s ready to go and in the best state to handle the summer heat when the time comes. If you do this, you can expect your air conditioner to have few problems or malfunctions in the coming year.

But maintenance won’t stop all AC issues. When you first start to run your air conditioner, we recommend you pay some attention to it so you can pick up any early signs that something is wrong. These same warning signs apply to the rest of the summer as well, so familiarizing yourself with them now will make it easier for you to detect them whenever they occur.


This is an AC trouble that often slips under people’s notice because they don’t pay much attention to how often or how long the air conditioner runs. The whir of the AC’s compressor just becomes part of the sound of summer. But short-cycling is a serious problem: the AC becomes stuck in its start-up mode and doesn’t complete a full cooling cycle as it starts and stops repeatedly during an hour. This also places immense strain on the system and runs up bills. If you notice the AC is only staying on for less than 10 minutes at a time and cycles four or more times per hour, we recommend you call us for air conditioning repair in Highland, MI.

Refrigerant leaks

Here’s another problem that can be difficult to notice at first. Loss of refrigerant will affect the AC’s efficiency, performance, and eventually cause the compressor to overheat—but the problems will start small. The best way to catch this early is to listen for a gurgling or hissing sound from the air conditioner, which warns of either liquid or gaseous refrigerant escaping from a hole in a refrigerant line. Have this checked out as soon as possible to avoid further damage. 

Humidity is higher than normal

An AC is not a dehumidifier (unless it was specifically designed with a dehumidifier attached), but several malfunctions with it can cause a noticeable increase in humidity in the home. If the AC is running but the house feels more humid than you expect, the AC may have trouble with its blower, it may be losing refrigerant, or there are problems with the ductwork that need attention. 

Unusual noises

One of the best early warning signs from a malfunctioning air conditioner is any noise that you haven’t heard before coming from it. The only noises you should regularly hear from the AC are the sounds of the fan and the compressor motors running, some clicking at start-up, the movement of air through the ducts, and the drip of condensate water. The intrusion of grinding, hissing, gurgling, mechanical shrieking, rattling, and anything else you don’t expect is a good reason to call for repair pros.

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the surrounding areas. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice.

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