When your air conditioning system was first installed, the HVAC contractor set the outside condensing unit on a concrete pad to ensure it was perfectly level. As time goes by, it’s common for the ground to settle, causing the pad to shift, sink, or crack. If this unit is not level, breakdowns can occur. You may find yourself needing to pay for frequent air conditioning repair services because a heating and cooling system must be level to run properly.
What Happens When Your AC Unit Isn’t Level?
When the outdoor AC unit is not level, extra stress is placed on the system. This stress could be why your air conditioner is rattling, or your furnace is not kicking on. Check out how exactly an uneven AC pad affects your air conditioning system:
The Compressor Becomes Damaged
Your air conditioner or heat pump has refrigerant and oil that moves through lines and coils in the condensing unit to heat your home. If the outdoor unit is not level, the oil used to operate the system cannot be evenly distributed. When this happens, the compressor’s motor is not properly lubricated, causing the moving parts to grind against each other and overheat the unit. As the AC unit runs inefficiently, your energy bills increase. If this problem is not caught early, you could end up needing to pay for a replacement unit.
Excessive Wear and Tear Occurs
Another reason you will want to ensure your air conditioner is level is to keep the rattling to a minimum. Units that are not properly leveled will vibrate excessively. This vibration causes unnecessary wear and tear on the equipment. The refrigerant lines can come loose, the unit could sink even further into the ground, and the HVAC system’s lifespan can be significantly shortened.
Rust and Mold Easily Form
As your air conditioning system operates, it pulls moisture out of the air and drains this water through a drainage line. If the air conditioner is not level, the water will pool in the drain pan instead of running out of the system. When this happens, the unit will rust and grow mold, resulting in expensive repairs, decreased system efficiency, and coil damage.
How to Tell If Your Air Conditioner Is Level
Are you concerned your air conditioning issues are due to an uneven condenser unit? Here’s how to tell if your AC unit is unlevel:
- Visually inspect the concrete pad. Does it slope to one side? Is it cracked?
- Look at your air conditioning unit. Is it noticeably leaning to one side?
- If a visual inspection didn’t return any definitive results, use a carpenter’s bubble level. Make sure you test the level on different parts of the condenser. The unit is level if the bubble is within the middle two lines. If the bubble falls beyond these lines, it’s time to get in touch with your local HVAC professional.
Let the Professionals Handle Leveling Your AC Unit
Leveling an outdoor air conditioning unit is not a DIY job. Most of the time, the unit will need to be temporarily disconnected; if not handled properly, this process can cause severe issues. Instead of attempting the project alone, turn to our certified AC technicians. We’ll ensure your unit isn’t damaged and get it level again to keep your home cool. Contact us today to book a service appointment!