A man holding HVAC gauges demonstrating how to recharge a home AC unit.

Recharging a Home AC – What You Need to Know

Central air conditioners have one primary job: to keep you comfortable. If your AC doesn’t do this and it is appropriately sized for your home, something is wrong. You have heard the advice to change your filters, keep it cleaned, and to have a smart thermostat, but did you know that air conditioners may also need to recharge? If your system has malfunctioned or has been damaged, your refrigerant may need to be recharged. Here’s what you need to know about recharging a home AC.

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A standard dehumidifier representing how a dehumidifier functions.

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

dehumidifierIn the summertime, the heat brings humidity to many homes around the US. Humidity is a result of moisture in your home, which can come from a variety of sources. During summer, however, the weather brings moisture with it and combines with moisture you create in your home passively. Moisture can lead to health problems, such as allergic reactions to mold and mildew. Mold and other fungi are fond of wet areas, making your basement the ideal place to grow. Your AC does some dehumidification, but that’s not its primary function.

Air conditioners work by pulling air out of your home via return ducts, cooling the air, and then recirculating it throughout your home. But sometimes all your home needs is dehumidification. Along much of the East Coast, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Delaware, and New Jersey, a lot of our heat is unbearable because of the humidity levels in the air. The sticky, thick 90º weather is awful, but when the humidity finds its way inside our homes, sometimes all you need is the movement of air. Ceiling fans are a common choice in homes with temperatures around the upper 70ºs. A ceiling fan can reduce the temperature you feel in the room by up to 10º in some cases. But do air conditioners dehumidify your home or just cool it?

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A traditional heat pump next to a house showing comparison to geothermal heat pump.

Why is My Air Conditioner Making Clicking Noises?

With any forced air heating or cooling system, there’s going to be sounds associated with air flowing through the duct work, in fact, it’s one of the main reasons people opt for the quieter radiant heat in the winter. Some units give off a light whirl that is ignored as background noise after a homeowner becomes familiar with it, while others sound like an Airbus A350 preparing to leave the runway.

While the sound of airflow is a necessary evil with a forced air-conditioner, there are some other sounds that are an indicator that something may be malfunctioning within the system. One such racket is a persistent clicking noise that may develop within the air-conditioner over time. While the clicking noise isn’t as sinister as a loud banging or the crackling of fire coming from your utility room, it’s still important to be checked out for one of these main causes:

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A dirty and clean air conditioning system air filter explaining why a HVAC system may smell.

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell?

On a hot day, the first thing you do when you return to a warm, stuffy home is switch on the air conditioner to circulate some cool air. However, there is nothing relaxing or comfortable about cool air carrying a strong odor that eventually spreads throughout your home. If you ever find yourself asking “why does my air conditioner smell?” then find the odor that best matches yours below.

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