Cardinal AC maintenance

Signs of a Broken AC To Look For Before Summer Hits

The Top Signs That AC Repair Is Needed Before Summer Hits

Summer marks the season of hot days at the pool with cool glasses of lemonade. There's nothing worse than walking inside from a hot afternoon to a broken or aged air conditioner. That's why it is so important for homeowners to know the different signs to look for that their AC needs repair. Of course, it is best to notice these signs before summer even hits. Now is the perfect time for homeowners to professionally maintain their air conditioner to prepare it for the season ahead. 

Still, though, breakdowns can happen anytime. Below is more information so homeowners aren't stuck with a hot house in the summertime!

hot air

Hot Air and Low Air Flow

When an air conditioner blows out hot air, this is typically the first noticed sign that the AC needs repairs. After a long winter, it is common for air conditioners to need some form of maintenance or repair. That is why it is always recommended to have maintenance done in the spring, so homeowners aren't stuck with a broken air conditioner when the weather gets hot. 

However, this isn't the only sign of a broken air conditioner. Low airflow is also a common sign that there are some problems within the unit. If the homeowner feels as though their home isn't cooling down as fast as it used to, this is a Telltale sign, but there are some underlying issues. When these things occur, the homeowner should call in a professional. The professional will be able to inspect the unit and has everything fixed accordingly and efficiently. 

Signs of Leaking

Leaking is another sign that the air conditioner is having some problems. However, this sign isn't as easily noticed because the air conditioning unit is placed outside. So, the homeowner will have to go outside and check the unit themselves periodically. Doing so will ensure that if there is a leak, the problem gets eradicated immediately.

The most common sign of a leak in the air conditioner will appear just around the outside of the unit. There may also be leaking happening within the unit, but this likely goes unnoticed most of the time. That said, leaking can lead to other signs, including:

  • Low airflow 
  • The air conditioner not turning on 
  • Strange odors surrounding the air conditioner 
  • The smell of freon in the home 

Hearing Strange Noises?noises

Similarly to when plumbing pipes are clogged, a broken or compromised air conditioner can also lead to strange noises being heard in the home. The same strange noises could come from the unit itself as well. There could be metal pieces banging around within the unit if there is a broken piece somewhere, or the unit could make loud noises every time it tries to turn on. 

If the sound has anything to do with the air conditioner, the homeowner should call a professional. All of the above-stated signs can lead to serious and expensive repair bills if they are not caught early enough. It is always best to have the AC unit professionally maintained every spring to ensure that it is ready for the season ahead.

Leave It To Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning work hard to keep the residents of Sun Prairie, WI safe with efficient air conditioning. They are committed to providing fast, clean, and professional services no matter what. They even offer 24-hour services because they understand that AC problems can occur at all hours of the day or night. Call today for AC repair service!

Cardinal heater maintenance

Look Out for These Signs of Heater Malfunction as the Seasons Change

Solve These Heaters Issues Now, Before Winter Is in Full Swing!

For many homeowners, the days slide past quickly. Summer turns to autumn, and then autumn turns to winter before they’ve had a chance to prepare. Unfortunately, all sorts of problems can come with heating systems that have been collecting dust all year. This is why it’s a good idea to check for common heater issues before the cold sets in. Read on to discover what to look for as the days start to grow colder. 

Blowing Cold Air When the Heater’s On

One of the easiest (and most unpleasant) ways to know that a heater is malfunctioning is a lack of hot air from the vents. The first thing homeowners should check if this is the case is the thermostat. The fan control should be set to “auto,” the heater on, and the temperature at the appropriate number. 

Another common issue that can cause cold air to blow when the heater is on involves the flame sensor. If this part becomes dirty, it can malfunction. Often, homeowners will turn the heat on, feel warm air for a few moments, and then only cold air. A dirty flame sensor usually causes this, and could lead to air pollution in the home

Mysterious Noises

scared men

No heaters operate silently. But, there are normal noises and abnormal ones. It’s the latter that homeowners should look out for. These can range from squealing, rumbling, bumping, hissing, grinding, rattling, and popping. The severity of the issue depends on the specific sound. For instance, grinding often means a motor problem, while rattling may signal a loose panel.

Below are some common sounds and the issues that may be causing them. 

  • Squealing - Usually an issue with a belt. Belts can slip and cause noise, or they can get old and need replacement. 
  • Popping - When heard near vents, this is usually caused by vent expansion as they heat, which is normal. 
  • Thumping - Often a sign that the blower wheel or the motor has become unbalanced. 

Pilot Lights Should Be Blue, Not Yellow

Another common cause of home heater issues is a problem with the pilot light. Those homeowners experiencing trouble should visually inspect their pilot light. A blue pilot light is normal, while a yellow one is not. Pilot lights can also turn green and red, none of which are normal. This is typically caused by a dirty air intake valve or contamination of the gas in a furnace. A yellow pilot light may mean a carbon monoxide leak, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. 

yellow flame

Homeowners who notice that their pilot light is not blue are advised to immediately shut off their gas and furnace and call an HVAC technician. It may be caused by something as simple as dirt or too much air, but it’s better not to take chances in these situations. 

About Cardinal Heating and Air Conditioning

Cardinal has been serving homeowners with pride since 1984. They provide honest, upfront pricing on every job. Their techs are clean, professional, friendly, and expertly trained. They’ve also been voted the best heating and cooling company in Sun Prairie five times in a row. Call them now for excellent heater services!

Sump pump maintenance

Common Signs a Sump Pump Might Be Right for Your Home

What Exactly Is a Sump Pump?

Basements are a great place to entertain, and for homeowners that have a finished basement, there is a good chance they put quite a bit of money into it. Whether it be from the carpet, the entertainment center, or furniture, they probably don’t want anything to get destroyed. 

Unfortunately, basements are prone to flooding, which is why many homeowners invest in a sump pump. These can prevent damage as they pump water out and away from the foundation. This helps the area under the house dry after a storm so that the excess moisture doesn’t find its way into the basement or other living areas.

3 Main Signs Homeowners Might Need a Sump Pump

holding a red phone
  • They’ve experienced a flood in the basement before: Unfortunately, if they’ve experienced one, there’s a good chance there will experience another. A sump pump can help eliminate the chance of multiple floods!
  • They live in a climate that experiences a lot of rain or snow: With more storms comes a higher risk of flood. After a heavy rain or snowstorm, homeowners should take a look at their basement for any freestanding water. Make sure to check crawl spaces as tiny hidden leaks may turn into large floods in the future.  
  • They live in a flat or low-lying area: For those that live in an area with hills or mountains grading down towards their home, this may be a sign they should get a sump pump. Flowing water will find its way to their basement if it’s the lowest point.

Sump Pump Options

red letters

For homeowners convinced that a sump pump may be a good choice for their home, there are a couple of options to choose from, including:

  • Pedestal: A Pedestal sump pump is more economical, but it doesn’t tend to last as long as a Submersible sump pump. Pedestal sump pumps have the motor located above the sump, which is less appealing, but also much easier to service. 
  • Submersible: A Submersible sump pump is more expensive but lasts a bit longer. The motor from this pump is sealed inside the sump. This makes for a safer and nicer looking option, but it is harder to access for service. 

How To Choose the Best Sump Pump

confused woman

Choosing the right sump pump comes down to personal preference. For homeowners willing to spend a little extra money, the Submersible pump may be the better option - especially if they have children because it is completely hidden. However, a pedestal sump pump can also do a great job at protecting valuables in the basement, but they may find themselves replacing the sump pump more frequently. 

When in doubt, it is best to contact a professional to see which option would work best!

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving Sun Prairie, WI, and the surrounding area for over 35 years. For all plumbing, heating, AC, and electrical needs, call Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning for professional, fast, and clean work.