You know you need an AC repair this summer if your system starts blowing warm air or stops working altogether. However, there can be times when your system is pumping out plenty of cold air but still needs an air conditioning repair. Here are four of those situations:

1. Unaccountably High Electric Bills

If something is wrong, your air conditioner will still try to get the job done. Your air filter may be dirty, but if it’s not totally clogged, your AC will overwork to compensate for the obstruction. That won’t make it die on the spot, and it may continue to crank out cold air, but sooner or later the excessive stress will cause the unit to give out. If your Stanley, North Carolina, electric bills have been increasing inexplicably, your air conditioner may be gobbling extra energy to help it overcome a problem that could eventually lead to its demise.

2. Different Rooms Are Different Temperatures

Your air conditioner may seem fine on the face of it, but the bedrooms might feel warm while the family room is freezing. The system could also be cycling on and off erratically. Uneven temperatures and short-cycling can both signal a thermostat malfunction. The thermostat may need calibration, or there may be a wiring defect that affects the thermostat’s connection to the system and thereby throws off its performance.

3. Unusual Noises

Older air conditioners can be noisy, but if your system is thumping, grinding, squealing, humming, clattering or buzzing, you should pay attention, even if the unit continues to do its job. These noises are not normal; a part may be loose or damaged, or there may be a problem with the circuitry. Strange noises usually indicate that an AC breakdown is not far off.

4. Unpleasant Smells

Bad smells from your air conditioner need immediate attention. Burning odors suggest electrical problems; musty odors can indicate that microbes have invaded the system. Sometimes, the condensate drain pan gets slimy with algae and bacteria because it hasn’t been cleaned. Microbes can also grow in your ductwork. The danger is that these toxins are blowing into your home every time the AC cycles on, and they can make everyone in the house feel sick.

Annual AC tuneups performed by a NATE-certified service technician can prevent all of these problems and reduce the potential for air conditioner breakdown. Tuneups can also lower your cooling costs. Learn more about the value of HVAC maintenance at Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning, a Trane Comfort Specialist. If you suspect that your system needs a repair but you don’t know if you’re imagining it, call us at (704) 208-4172 to get help with air conditioner troubleshooting.