3 warning signs for your AC … and 3 things you can do

It might not quite feel like it—especially since this May hasn’t exactly been what we usually see, temperature-wise—but AC season is right around the corner. And before you know it, you’ll be turning the thermostat down and hoping your unit kicks on.

Will it work? Will it work well? The time to start thinking about that is now, not in July. So here are a few warning signs to watch out for, and a few things you can do as we head into the heat.

Did your system keep up last year?

Think back to last summer, when the mercury hit 113 on June 29 and Wenatchee broke its all-time temperature record. Was your AC unit or heat pump struggling to keep up—not just on that day (when we all struggled), but even when things weren’t quite as hot? If it’s taking longer to cool your home, or your system doesn’t seem to fully get the job done, that can be a sign of bigger issues ahead.

Were your utility bills higher than normal?

Assuming all else is equal, meaning you didn’t use your AC significantly more than usual and rates didn’t jump, higher power bills compared to the previous summer likely mean your system isn’t working as efficiently as it was. It could be for any number of reasons, such as poor maintenance, dirty air intake (change those filters!), or simply age. But bigger bills are a red flag that should prompt a look at your system.

Are you hearing things?

Your AC system makes noise when it’s running, of course, but it should simply be a low hum. If you’re hearing unusual noises like banging, knocking, buzzing, or rattling, don’t ignore them, because you might need a new part or some other repair. For instance, a blower fan can make some weird sounds when it’s malfunctioning. Those noises can indicate a system that isn’t working properly. (But even if it was, who wants to listen to that racket all day and night? Not you. And probably not your neighbors.)

Three things you can do now—and this summer

  1. Set your temperature a little higher. The lower you set your thermostat, the harder your system has to work (even if it’s in good shape). Remember, your house probably shouldn’t be cold when it’s 100 degrees outside—find a temperature that’s just comfortable enough, maybe 74 or 78 instead of 68.
  2. Keep up with your maintenance. That means changing your filters, making sure the area around your outdoor unit is clear, checking to see that the unit itself doesn’t have any leaves or other debris inside, etc. Take care of your system, and it will take care of you.
  3. Call one of our professionals for a checkup. The best way to prevent big problems is to catch them when they’re small. Just get in touch at 509-662-6262 and we’ll send someone out for a system evaluation and to perform any needed maintenance. We can provide a complimentary estimate to help you explore your options for a new system, too—thanks to Chelan PUD rebates, it might cost less than you think!

Almost-summer special: Save on a water softener or whole-home filter

We know, we just spent this entire blog post talking about AC and cooling—and now we’re offering a special on water systems? (Hey, we just go with what the big bosses tell us, OK?) This summer, you can make your water taste better than ever with a whole-home filter, and get rid of those spots on the dishes and shower doors with a water softener. You’ll save $250 on a water softener or $100 on a filtration system when you purchase from Patriot and have us install it by June 30, 2022. Just give us a call at 509-662-6262!

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