Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Late Season AC Breakdown Warnings!


The weather can be odd in October, so it’s wise to be ready for anything, including spikes in the heat. This means your home may need air conditioning services in Gaithersburg, MD before the true cold weather sets in. It’s wise to be alert for warning signs your air conditioner is running into problems. Just because the AC is soon going to go into winter hibernation doesn’t mean you can let problems slide. Any cooling system malfunction needs a fast response to diagnose and repair it. Otherwise, the problem may worsen, cause a rise in utility bills, and shorten the overall system life.

Here’s What to Watch For

An air conditioner in the fall has plenty of wear built up from a summer of tough labor. Even the finest spring maintenance can’t guarantee an AC will continue to work ideally through the fall. Below are signs you might see warning that the air conditioner needs attention from pros:

Uneven cooling

When the house isn’t enjoying an even spread of cool temperatures throughout the rooms when the AC is on, it’s one the most urgent signs of a system speeding toward failure. It’s especially concerning if the air conditioner is 15 years old or more—at this point, the AC may not need repairs, it may need to be replaced! Many different troubles can lurk behind uneven cooling, so have an HVAC technician investigate to find the true culprit.


This is a notorious AC problem where the compressor becomes trapped in the start-up cycle. The compressor turns on and off rapidly, rather than completing at least a 15-minute cooling cycle. As with uneven cooling, there are numerous possibilities for short-cycling and a professional can help find what’s wrong. Please never delay dealing with short-cycling, since it inflicts heavy strain on the compressor and will shoot your utility bills into the sky.

Screeching and grinding sounds

Odd sounds are a general cause for alarm with an AC. Screeching and grinding are specifically worrying at the end of cooling season because they are the sounds of motors close to burning out. The stress on the motors over the summer can wear down the bearings (the screeching sound) or remove lubrication (the grinding sound). Move fast to have professionals find out what’s wrong. The sooner you deal with this, the easier and less expensive the repair.

Ice along the evaporator coil

No, this isn’t a sign your AC has done a good, long summer of work. There should never be ice anywhere on the air conditioner! When ice starts to appear on the evaporator coil, it means some malfunction is causing the coil to absorb less heat than normal. It can be the result of a loss of refrigerant, dirt and dust built-up on the coil, blower fan troubles, and more. Instead of trying to scrape off the ice (which won’t solve the underlying problem) call our technicians to get to the bottom of the dilemma.

Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing vows to exceed expectations at every turn. You can rely on us for AC services in Washington, DC, Montgomery and Frederick Counties.