Much like other appliances in your home, air conditioners also need care to perform efficiently throughout the year. The last thing you want is to have a broken or faulty unit at the height of summer, resulting in your home feeling like it turned into an oven.
Fortunately, some of the problems are easy to identify, like having clogged filters or forgetting to close windows when using the air conditioner. Other issues are slightly more complex, like when the refrigerant is leaking or the coils are dirty, and you may need some outside help.
Learn more about common air conditioner issues, and you’ll better understand how to get your AC working again.
Filters Are Clogged
Did you know you could decrease your air conditioner’s energy consumption by five to 15 percent if you replace the clogged filter with a clean one? Clogged filters can restrict airflow, letting dirt get inside, and damaging the coils’ heat-absorbing capacity. They need to be replaced regularly to ensure the system is working efficiently.
Thermostat Sensor Is Faulty
If your air conditioner is behaving erratically or maintaining a cycle for longer than expected, it’s most likely a problem with the thermostat sensor. The thermostat is used to measure the temperature of the air and adjusts it to your desired setting. Sometimes, it can be knocked out of position and therefore starts gauging the temperatures incorrectly.
Refrigerant Is Low or Leaking
Refrigerant is the chemical used to cool the air in the air conditioning system. If your air conditioner is not cooling properly, you could have an issue with the refrigerant levels. It may not have been recharged according to manufacturer’s specifications or it could be leaking and should be addressed immediately, as it’s harmful to the environment.
Dirty or Frozen Coils
Replacing the air conditioner filters is important, but unfortunately it’s not enough to keep the coils clean. Over time, they can collect dirt and struggle to work properly. Coils can also freeze if the refrigerant is low. You may need to talk to an HVAC technician who can help you address these coil issues.
Outside Fan Stopped Working
If the outside fan stops working, it can cause a bigger problem. The fan takes the hot air and releases it to the outside, but if it breaks or is not working properly, it impairs heat transfer. The result is that the air conditioner compressor can overheat and possibly trip the safety overload.
Air Conditioner Is Not the Problem
Sometimes, the air conditioner is working perfectly well, but your house set-up might be affecting its efficiency. If you’re constantly using your air conditioner with open windows or doors, all the cold air might be escaping. Another problem could be placing a TV or lamp next to the unit, as the heat from these appliances trick the thermostat into thinking it’s hotter than it really is.
At the end of the day, to ensure your air conditioner is always working properly, you just need to check it regularly. If you see something out of the ordinary, like a leakage, or if it stops cooling as it used to, you should consult the pros, taking action to avoid any serious future problems.