Spending a hot summer in a home or business with air conditioning problems is a terrible experience. If you live in a warm city such as Florida, you need air conditioners for your life to be bearable. The good news is that you don’t have to incur expensive costs to repair them if you can ensure they’re in good shape. That can only happen if you know some of the common problems they have and how to prevent them.
Here are seven causes of air conditioning problems and the precautions you can take to avoid them.
1. Dirty Filters
No matter the type of conditioner that you have, if it’s clogged, it will restrict airflow and reduce its efficiency and ability to cool the air effectively. Cleaning the filter in your portable air conditioner or window is necessary to avoid this problem. Also, you need to check your manufacturer’s suggestions on how to change your air filter. Some may recommend that you change them monthly; others after every three months. Clean Reusable filters when dirty.
One way of knowing if a filter is dirty is by checking if light passes through it. If it doesn’t, that’s an indication that it should be cleaned. You don’t want your AC unit to freeze because of a dirty filter. If you have pets, you’ll need to change your filters more often.
2. Leaking Refrigerants
The refrigerant in the conditioner is vital because it’s responsible for expelling humidity and heat from the air in your home. If the refrigerant lines begin to leak, there will be fewer refrigerants to cool the air.
Fixing this problem may not be easy because an HVAC technician needs to look out for the leaks and repair the holes in the lines, which is time-consuming. An HVAC suspension hanger may improve the installation of your AC and prevent the refrigerant from leaking.
3. Thermostat Problem
Old thermostats could be incorrectly calibrated. That means your air conditioner may not be getting instructions correctly from the control system. Having a programmable thermostat can help you control your home’s temperature easily, so you’re comfortable when you’re in the house.
However, if the temperature seems off, check the thermostat to ensure it’s not exposed to direct sunlight as that can cause it to register temperature wrongly. On top of that, you need to check the instructions in its manual to ensure the settings are correct.
4. Clogged Drain Line
Like the filter, the drain line can also get clogged with dust, dirt, and lint. The moisture that your air conditioner expels needs to be removed from the space through the drain line, into the pan, and finally down the drain. A clogged drain may result in water backing up and damaging your system. The condition may become worse if the water leaks damage your ceiling, walls, and furnishings. If you don’t identify that problem early enough, you may end up with mold growth.
5. Fan Problems
Two fans in your conditioner are responsible for blowing indoor air over your unit’s evaporator, and over the outdoor condenser to cool the air and absorb heat outside the building. If either of those fans is not functioning correctly because of worn belts, a faulty motor, lack of lubrication, or too much dirt and debris, you may end up with poor airflow and conditioner problems.
Neglecting this problem may lead to the compressor failing, making your air conditioner to be completely dead. Additionally, dirty fans may worsen health conditions. A study by Dr. Mark Mendell, an epidemiologist in California’s Department of Health, showed that clogged fans worsen allergies and asthma.
6. Blown Out Breakers, Fuses, And Capacitors
Breakers and fuses safeguard the AC’s motor from overheating. When the motor dies, most often, it’s because of a faulty breaker. Additionally, without capacitors, the motor responsible for powering the fans and compressor won’t function. Your AC needs the start capacitor to activate the motor and the run capacity to keep it working. If either burns out, the AC unit won’t run efficiently.
7. Dirty Condenser Coils
Your unit’s condenser coils are responsible for expelling heat outside the building. If it’s covered with layers of dirt and grime, it won’t work well. This is a common problem in cities where there’s a lot of pollution and soot in the air. A dirty condenser makes your system work harder to do its job, increasing wear and subsequently system failure.
Precautions you need to take to prevent air conditioning problems
- Have your AC checked regularly by an HVAC technician before it develops any serious problems and gets worse. The technician should check the refrigerant, moving parts, and recharge the system. This process is relatively inexpensive and may save you from making emergency calls when your AC stops working on a scorching day.
- Clogged air filters cause airflow problems that make the coils to freeze. So, it would be best if you replaced any dirty filters.
- If it seems that enough air isn’t coming in from the register, let an HVAC expert inspect the ducts and repair any holes.
- Install new and programmable thermostats to save energy. It’s recommended that you buy thermostats, which you can control remotely using your tablet or smartphone.
- Frequently clear any trash, dirt, and clogged leaves that may be on the outdoor fan to enable it to expel heat effectively.
Air conditioners are great coolers in hot temperatures. However, it’s essential to know the causes of air conditioning problems and take appropriate measures against them. Also, if you want your AC unit to last longer, taking precautions is necessary.