Air conditioners get a workout when the heat of summer arrives. When the temperature rises, the A/C comes on. Like any other mechanical system, an air conditioner may need to be repaired on occasion. Let’s look at nine of the most common air conditioning problems you may face.
#1 Air Filter
A clogged or dirty air filter can cause a lot of common A/C issues. A clogged filter prevents the air from moving freely into the system. This can minimize the amount of cold air coming out. It also makes the system work harder, which can lead to higher repair costs.
Dirty filters cause other issues. Dirt can get inside the unit and coat the evaporator coils. These coils absorb heat out of the air and send it outside. A layer of dirt and dust makes it harder for the coils to absorb heat. The system has to work harder just to keep your home cool.
Check the filter at least once a month. Change or clean it as recommended by the manufacturer.
Your thermostat can also cause common A/C problems. It controls when and how long the A/C runs, based on the temperature it’s set to and the temperature it detects in the room.
The thermostat should be turned on to the A/C mode. Check to see if there’s dust inside. A soft attachment on the vacuum can clear the dust out. The thermostat also needs to be level, out of the sun and set to the appropriate temperature.
When your A/C isn’t running or is pouring out hot air, check the thermostat to see if it’s set properly. If the problems don’t stop, you may need to have an A/C technician solve the problem.
#3 Condensate Drain
As air crosses the evaporator coils, it draws moisture out of the air. This moisture drips down into the condensate pan below the air handler. The water then goes down the condensate drain.
At times, this drain can become clogged. The pan will gradually fill up. When it reaches the edge, one of two things will happen. It could overflow on to the floor. Or, it could trigger a switch attached to the pan. That switch will turn off the entire system until the water is released down the drain.
If your system suddenly stops running, check the condensate drain. You can use a thin straw to clear a clog. “To prevent this from happening again, run a solution of water and bleach through the drain at least once every six months,” recomends the contractors at Grand Canyon air conditioning Peoria AZ.
#4 Breaker or Fuse
Your A/C system runs off its own circuit. If that circuit becomes overloaded, it can trip a breaker or burn out a fuse.
If your A/C isn’t running when it should, check the breaker or fuse box. You will find a circuit breaker or fuse in the main box. You may also have a separate breaker or fuse next to the A/C’s external unit. If a breaker has tripped, reset it and see if the A/C comes back on. If not, you need an A/C technician to diagnose the problem.
#5 Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils are in the air handler inside the home, likely in the attic or garage. These coils can become covered in dirt, which causes the system to work harder. If it works too hard, it can shut down temporarily.
On a rare occasion, the evaporator coils can corrode. In those cases, they will need to be replaced, which is an expensive job.
Cleaning and repairing evaporator coils is best left to A/C professionals.
#6 Condenser Coils
The condenser coils are found in the outside unit of your A/C system. Their job is to release the heat gathered by the evaporator coils. Wind can blow dust and debris over these coils, which is difficult for them to release the heat. This makes the entire system work harder to keep your home comfortable.
A gentle spray of water will remove the dirt. Do this in the spring so the system can work through the summer. If the dirt doesn’t release, an A/C tech can use a special cleaner.
#7 Worn Contactors
Inside your A/C system, contactors allow the electrical current to go through the compressor, the blower motor, and the condenser fan motor. Over time, these contactors can become worn, making it difficult for the system to work.
Capacitors send jolts of energy into the motor to start it and to keep it running. If a capacitor burns out, the system won’t run efficiently. It might not even start.
If you can’t find an obvious reason why your A/C isn’t starting, get a technician out to look for a blown capacitor.
The compressor in your A/C is what energizes the refrigerant and helps it carry out heat exchange. If the compressor is broken, your house will be hot. If there’s not enough refrigerant, the compressor can seize.
A compressor repair or replacement is something to leave to the pros.
The best way to keep your air conditioner running through the hot summer is to have a trained technician inspect and maintain the system. Do this once a year, and you will have minimal troubles keeping your home cool and comfortable. Set an appointment for air conditioning maintenance today.