Air conditioning is a gift of modern technology. It allows us to remain comfortable even when thermometers rise to extremes at the peak of summer. Most people aren’t concerned about the intricacies of the system. They are happy as long as it cools them down day after day. Although air conditioners are quite reliable, they can run into problems throughout their lifespan. Breakdowns can even happen when you need them the most. Fortunately, not all problems call for the help of a professional HVAC technician.
Many homeowners can fix the most common issues if they have the motivation to do so. All they need is basic information on how to solve malfunctions. Indeed, many are keen to do it themselves since they can save money and get their family’s gratitude. However, there are also complex repairs that can only be performed by highly trained professionals. Never compromise personal safety while you chase savings. Being cheap can backfire and prove to be more costly. Here we will talk about a few common AC issues and solutions that you may do on your own. We will also discuss problems that require professional attention, so read on for tips about air conditioner problems.
Your Air Conditioner Doesn’t Turn On.
When it gets hot, your first instinct will be to turn on the air conditioner so that it can cool the house down. However, you may be surprised that nothing happens no matter what you do. You cannot feel the cold air from the vents. The condenser unit is not showing any signs of movement.
Often, people will start to panic right away before they even have the chance to check the basics. The first thing you need to do is check the thermostat and read the temperature. Perhaps it isn’t set low enough to trigger a response from the system. Try to change the settings to a lower temperature and see if the condenser turns on. If nothing changes, you can shift your focus to the circuit breaker.
Central air conditioners are known to consume a massive amount of energy. Sometimes the surge can trip the circuit breaker, which prevents the system from turning on. This often happens in older homes because their electrical systems were not built to handle the load. You can confirm this by going outside and looking for the circuit breaker next to the condenser unit. Open the door of this box and see if the circuit was tripped. Go to the home’s main circuit breaker and check if everything is alright. Reset all broken circuits and go back to the thermostat to try starting the cooling cycle. This should get things back to normal. If it doesn’t, then you may need professional help.
If you have already tweaked the thermostat settings and reset the breakers without seeing any changes, then there may be a deeper underlying issue that is out of your scope. An HVAC technician needs to look at the system to determine whether this is a motor malfunction, a broken compressor, or some other failure.
Your Air Conditioner Doesn’t Cool
Another common issue is that you turn on the AC, and it responds, but it doesn’t provide enough cooling for the house.
We return to the usual suspect, which is the thermostat. Troubleshooting should begin by reducing the temperature setting by 5 degrees or more. Give the system about an hour to cool the house down and check if you feel the difference. If nothing changed, then you can move on to the evaporator coil.
As Pride AC says (a Port St Lucie air conditioning company), “Check whether your central AC has an evaporator coil that you can access. If it does, then you should be able to clean this yourself. You will be able to see the coil on top of the air handler. Just remove a few screws and the foil insulation. A stiff brush works best. Use gentle strokes to avoid damage. You can also add a bit of bleach to the tray for disinfection. Once you’re done, replace the screws and seal the leaks using duct tape. This is usually enough to make the system run more efficiently. If it isn’t, then you need to call a technician.”
The inability of an air conditioner to produce sufficient cold air may be a symptom of a bigger problem. For example, perhaps there is a system leak that led to a significant loss in refrigerant. A technician will have to top it up until the normal level is achieved.
Since breakdowns are disruptive, the best repair strategy is to prevent common problems from happening in the first place. Reduce the risk with annual air conditioner maintenance work. This will boost the system’s efficiency and keep it running well for many years. It is possible to do the maintenance work yourself, but most people choose to let a professional handle the matter. After all, most HVAC companies offer this service at a low fee while providing advanced services. They can do so much more than the average homeowner, thanks to their equipment, knowledge, and experience. Expect to pay $70 to $150 for maintenance service.
Those planning to do maintenance work, troubleshooting, or cleaning should first read the owner’s manual for directions. Turn the power off before doing anything just to be on the safe side. Be sure to stay within your comfort zone. If you encounter things that are too complicated, you should call the professionals to take over. This is the smartest thing to do since it will shield you from harm, prevent further damage to the unit, and result in faster resolution.