Homeowners who understand common air conditioner problems may be able to spot early warning signs and get the issue fixed before it results in a breakdown of the system. Your family benefits greatly from an efficient, functional cooling system on warm spring and summer days, so be sure your unit is working like it should.
Below are four common air conditioner problems that, if detected early, could prevent a costly repair or a hot home.
Leaking or improperly charged refrigerant
If your home is feeling warmer than usual, the cause may be an issue with your air conditioner’s refrigerant. Refrigerant, often known as “Freon,” helps to cool the air in your home. If the refrigerant lines to your AC system develop a leak, your unit won’t be able to do its job efficiently. As a result, you may notice that your home feels humid and uncomfortable.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether you have a leak is to check the evaporator coils of your AC system. If they are frozen, this could indicate that the coils do not have the appropriate amount of refrigerant in them to help with absorbing heat. As a result, condensation on the pipes will start to freeze. As the frozen condensation begins to melt, puddles may be spotted around the base of your cooling system.
Additionally, if you have a refrigerant leak, you may notice any of the following warning signs: strange noises coming from your cooling system, warm air coming out of your vents, higher energy bills, or a noticeable cooling difference between floors in your home.
Along with leaks, homeowners also often face problems with improperly charged refrigerant. This is often an issue with units that were not installed correctly. If the refrigerant in a unit isn’t properly charged as per the specifications in the manufacturer’s manual, you may notice that your home doesn’t feel as comfortable as it should.
Both refrigerant problems can easily be handled by a trained cooling professional.
Lack of maintenance
With most major appliances in your home, it’s not wise to assume they will keep running at their best without any upkeep. This can certainly be said for your home’s air conditioner. To keep it running efficiently all season long, schedule annual maintenance with an experienced cooling professional.
During a maintenance appointment, your technician will be able to inspect the components of your unit to be sure everything is dirt/dust-free and working efficiently. One benefit of regular maintenance is that many problems are caught and fixed early before resulting in a breakdown of the system.
Along with maintenance performed by a professional, you should also keep up with filter replacement. Your air filter is responsible for trapping airborne particles and preventing them from clogging your system. If you don’t change your filter often, it will become clogged – making it nearly impossible for cool air from your system to make it to all parts of your home. Not only does this cause your air conditioner to work harder than it should, but it also creates poor indoor air quality for your family.
Also, NEVER cover your air conditioner. Many homeowners falsely believe that if they put a cover on their cooling system, it’ll prevent pollen and other outdoor contaminants from getting into the unit. However, this will restrict airflow and cause your system to overheat. You should have a minimum of two feet of clearance around your unit.
Many homeowners might not realize that a simple thermostat issue may be mistaken for a broken air conditioner. Your thermostat is responsible for telling the cooling system when to come on and shut off, as well as controlling what temperature you’d like inside your home.
If you’ve noticed that your air conditioner has suddenly stopped working, first check your thermostat to see if its display is lit. If not, this may mean that the device isn’t getting power. The solution may be to replace the batteries, or to check and see if you have a tripped breaker.
If you’ve noticed that your cooling system is short-cycling or running continuously, this may be a result of your thermostat not mounted flush against the wall, or there may be a build-up of dirt inside the device that needs to be cleaned out. Dirty, dusty wires can erode over time and cause your thermostat to not work as it should.
Incorrectly sized unit
If you’ve noticed that your home doesn’t feel as cool as it should in all areas, and you don’t have a refrigerant leak, dirty air filter, or thermostat issue, then the problem may be a result of an improperly-sized air conditioner.
If your AC system is too small for your home’s cooling needs, it may have trouble keeping up with the demands set by your thermostat to keep your home at a certain temperature. If the system is too large, it will cycle off before humidity has been removed. To avoid this problem, speak with a cooling professional before purchasing a new unit. An expert will be able to determine which size and SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) are best for your family’s needs.
If none of the above situations seem to be the case or solve the cooling problem in your home, you may need to speak with an experienced professional.
Want to prevent a broken air conditioner?
The most effective way to prevent a breakdown of your cooling system is to keep up with routine maintenance. We can help. Pivotal Home Solutions offers an affordable Cooling Maintenance Plan. Want more details, or you’re ready to sign up? Give us a call.