Climate patterns may change and the cool days may mix with some unseasonably warm days, but a central air conditioner needs to be able to perform at a moment's notice. A full air conditioning suite with an attached heating system can kick up a lot of dust and debris, but there are few strange symptoms that could betray bigger problems. Before ignoring strange smells, rattling or other quirks as you start the system up, take the time to understand a few inspection and maintenance points.
Strange Smells After Switching From Cool To Hot
When the cool days set in, you may find yourself switching the central air control from cool to warm. You may not need it all day--you may only need it at night or on some strangely chilly days as the seasons transition, but there may be a burning smell as the unit turns on.
A small amount of burning scent throughout the first day is normal. Dust builds up through the multiple months of no use, and unless you've hired a maintenance technician to regularly clean the entire system, old dust, pollen and other basic debris will burn as the heat turns on.
The scent should be barely noticeable. Although some people are more sensitive to air pollutants than others, if you're beginning to choke, gasp for air or if any part of your body is irritated as the burning fumes enter the home, turn of the unit as soon as possible and contact a central air technician. There may be something burning that shouldn't be near the heater such as spilled chemicals, pesticide or other potential irritants and poisons.
The solution may be as simple as cleaning out dust traps and cleaning the duct system, but the equipment necessary for some of the more in-depth cleaning requires a professional.
On And Off Performance? Electrical Replacements Or Deeper Repairs Needed
Central air conditioning units often have to keep a balance of air supply and temperature management in order to keep a set temperature. There may be a few days of mild temperature where the air conditioning turns on and off quickly (which usually calls for turning off the system, but wanting perfect temperature is understandable), but if the unit is turning on and off every few seconds, you may have an electrical problem.
There could be a wiring issue at the control box that changes the signal for a specific temperature, or the power unit for the central air conditioner may be frayed. Either way, the repair is dangerous and needs to be handled by a central air professional. In the worst case scenario, the central air professional may suggest an electrician.
No matter the course of action, avoid trying to work on the wires yourself. Electrical damage can be lethal and the mistakes can be damaging to the system as well as your house. Contact a central air conditioner professional to schedule an assessment of your heating and cooling systems.