Common A/C Problems and How A/C Maintenance Can Help Catch Them Early On
Most home appliances face mechanical problems at one point or another during their lifetime. It’s inevitable; as machines get used over time, they can’t help but deteriorate or malfunction. Although you may not be able to prevent running into common A/C problems from time to time, it is possible to recognize, diagnose and mitigate issues early on, as well as take preventative measures to keep it running smoothly.
Regular maintenance not only extends the life of an air conditioner, but it can also save you money on repair and replacement costs. The first step to prolonging the life and functionality of your A/C unit is to know the possible problems your unit may encounter, and what maintenance practices will keep it cooling your home for as long as possible.
Common A/C Problems
- The A/C runs but doesn’t cool. There are many possible reasons for this kind of failure, most of which you can troubleshoot yourself. In this case, the issue is most likely with the condenser. The condenser is where the air is cooled before it’s released into the house, and it’s possible for it to become blocked or clogged with outside particles or debris. Your A/C may be low on or leaking refrigerant.What to do: Take a look at the condenser. If it’s dirty or blocked, try and clean it out. If you think the problem is low or leaking refrigerant, call a professional. To help prevent this problem, routinely clean the entire unit and schedule annual preventive service.
- Unit repeatedly shuts on and off. This issue is usually caused by a dirty condenser or evaporator.What to do: Try cleaning out the the entire unit, giving closest attention to the condenser and evaporator. If the problem persists, an HVAC technician may be necessary.
- The A/C is blowing cool air, but not enough to cool your home. If the A/C doesn’t seem to be adequately cooling your home, the issue could be a dirty evaporator, an undersized unit or too large of a difference between your setpoint and the outside temperature.What to do: Make sure all windows and doors are closed, then lower the thermostat another 5 degrees, and see if any improvement is made. If not, thoroughly clean out the evaporator, and let the unit run for a couple hours. If the problem still isn’t resolved, the A/C may not be properly sized. Call a HVAC tech for a professional inspection and opinion.
The outside temperature could also be the problem. If it’s 100 degrees or over, getting the room to cool down to 65 isn’t be feasible. If you have a lot of windows letting sunlight in, this heat gain may counteract the work the A/C is doing. Try putting down the shades on all windows to reduce this factor.
A/C Unit Maintenance Checklist
Routinely going through this list of maintenance practices will extend the life of an air conditioner and can help you catch problems that you may not have known were there early on.
- Cleaning out the air conditioner unit consistently is the best way to lengthen the life of the A/C.
- Lubricate moving parts. If not lubricated well enough, friction can make motors and fans work harder. This uses more electricity and can cost you money, in addition to quickly wearing out parts.
- Frequently check thermostat settings to ensure you’re maximizing energy efficiency.
- Make sure all electrical connections are tightened, and frequently measure current and voltage for the A/C motor. Faulty connections can be a fire hazard, and an over- or underpowered motor can wear out components quickly.
- Consistently check condenser drain. If it’s plugged, it can cause water damage in your house and affect humidity levels.
- Check refrigerant levels.
Even with all these precautions, problems may still arise with home air conditioner that you shouldn’t attempt to rectify yourself. For installation, repair and troubleshooting of your HVAC system, contact Davis Air Conditioning And Heating. We proudly serve the home comfort needs of homeowners in and around Houston, Angleton, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Sugar Land and Brazoria.
Image via Shutterstock.com
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