It’s easy to overlook basic air conditioner maintenance. If you have central air, the main unit is installed somewhere outside and usually out of sight. Out of sight out of mind, right? Even if you have window units directly in your line of sight every day, who thinks about A/C maintenance during the winter? Most people don’t even consider air conditioning problems until they are experiencing one right smack dab in the middle of summer. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of your air conditioning system and to check it before the summer season.
Today’s post will go over some of the warning signs that your air conditioner may be on the fritz. We will also give some common industry AC repair tips from a Dallas AC repair company.
Knowing when there is a Problem
It is important to know the signs of a failing A/C unit first and foremost. After all, you would never even think to fix anything unless you knew there was a problem.
Doesn’t Even Turn On
The most obvious sign that there is something wrong with your air conditioner is that it doesn’t kick on. If you are setting your thermostat to cool and programming a low temperature and you still don’t hear your air conditioner turning on, you have a problem.
The loss of power to an air conditioning unit is usually the result of three instances:
- You have a blown fuse or your circuit breaker has been tripped.
- Faulty wiring within the unit itself from a broken wire or a loose connection (the most common).
- The thermostat is broken or malfunctioning
If your A/C isn’t working with either the first or second attempt at turning it on, the issue is most likely with your thermostat. The thermostat is responsible for activating the actual A/C unit by reading the temperature and sending a relay signal. If your thermostat is broken or malfunctioning, no relay will be sent.
Check the Vents
Before summer rolls along, turn your air conditioner on and place your hand near a vent. Check to make sure that the unit is actually blowing cool air. One of the most common A/C problems is that they stop blowing cold air. If the air you are feeling from the vent is warm or room temperature, there is either a failure in the condenser system or a lack of refrigerant.
Is it the Ductwork?
Ductwork plays an important role in your central cooling system. Another common central A/C problem is uneven cooling. In other words, some rooms cool down while others stay warm. Be sure that all the rooms in your home are adequately cooled by you’re A/C. If they aren’t, your ductwork is likely the culprit.
Unusual noises are also a tell-tale sign that something is wrong with your A/C. If you’re A/C is running louder than normal or you are hearing it struggle or sputter, then the fan motor needs to be looked at.
Fixing the Problem
While many A/C problems require the service of a certified HVAC technician, there are some quick fixes you can try yourself. As we stated earlier, uneven cooling is likely a duct or vent problem. One thing you can try if you are experiencing uneven cooling in your home is to clean or vacuum the vent registers. It may be a simple matter of air not being able to push through the dust, dirt, and debris that has accumulated and clogged your vent registers.
Another reason you may be experiencing uneven or inefficient cooling is dirty filters. Filters can easily get clogged with dust and pet hair which affects the performance of the entire system. For air conditioners that refuse to power on, try checking the fuse box and resetting the breaker. The problem may be a simple tripped circuit, in which case resetting the breaker would resolve the issue. Noises coming from your air conditioner may be the result of leaves and debris interfering with the fan and motor. Try clearing your unit of all leaves and debris and keeping the area around it clean.
For those of you with window units that are staying on too long, check to make sure the spot it is installed in isn’t too sunny. Direct sunlight can make your window unit work extra hard, start to rattle and ultimately fail. If your window unit is staying on too long, try moving it to another window that doesn’t get so much direct sunlight.
Call an Expert
Of course, not every A/C problem will be able to be DIY’d. Some problems are more complex and require in-depth HVAC knowledge. If none of the above tips have resolved your issue, be sure to call an HVAC expert. Regular HVAC maintenance will also help you avoid costly and time-consuming air conditioner problems so be sure to stay on top of your maintenance schedule!