Until recently, homeowners only worried about their HVAC performance in winter. The health and performance of their air conditioner’s critical components such as the condenser, capacitor, and electrical wiring weren’t seen as top priorities – not to mention the lack of concern given to the air filter, which collects dirt and other pollutants in the house, or the coils that facilitate the exchange of hot and cold temperatures. Throughout this last decade, with the constant temperature increases, these previously neglected elements have come to the forefront. AC problems such as malfunction due to overheating or freezing from blocked vents, dirty filters disrupting the cycling process, and tripping circuit breakers due to electrical issues, have become frequent things to repair in summer as well.
Dealing with them is not easy, and may involve anything from DIY efforts to contracting professional services. As the heat increases, one common issue is humidity imbalance which can cause the refrigeration cycle to go haywire and the air conditioner to malfunction. The other is the lack of maintenance of key components like the air filter and coils which can lead to necessary repairs. The only solution homeowners have is to invest in preventative AC maintenance and choose their service providers carefully, focusing not on service rates, but on things like reputation, license, warranty and the professional logo depicted on their uniforms and service trucks.
Finding out as much as possible on the most common AC issues encountered in summer, their causes and their solutions may help. Understanding the role of essential parts like the air filter and capacitor, knowing how dirt can build up and impact the functionality of these components, knowing the dangers of faulty wiring that can lead to overheating, and the impact of dirty coils on the refrigeration cycle can be incredibly useful. Especially since some issues can be identified and solved on the spot, requiring no special skills or knowledge.
Here is a list of the problems AC systems usually develop in summer and what these issues involve:
The Unit Will Not Start
Just imagine coming home from work on a hot summer day and not being able to turn on your air conditioner. Perhaps the culprit is a malfunction in the electrical circuit or a tripping breaker due to overheating. You are almost suffocating, and your house feels like a sauna. If you are lucky, the cause is just an improperly set thermostat or a tripped circuit breaker.
Thus, before calling professionals or hurrying to the nearest store, try lowering the temperature on the thermostat, resetting it, checking the vents for any obstructions and resetting the unit and the home’s circuit breaker. If these measures do not help, call in an HVAC specialist.
Your Home Is Not Cooled Properly
If your AC is running, but it provides no noticeable results, chances are something obstructs the airflow. You can start your inspection with the air filters. If they have not been cleaned or replaced in a while, chances are they are clogged by dust and debris which can lead to the unit freezing due to an inability to complete its cycle. If they are not the problem, your next best guess is the outside unit of the AC. It may have dirt in the vents or tree branches that may have grown in its proximity, obstructing airflow.
If the problem is not an airflow obstruction, your refrigerant lines need checking. They could be leaking, or your unit may need some more refrigerant. However, you as a homeowner need to be aware that oftentimes companies who simply recharge systems with refrigerants without finding a leak are only putting a horrible band-aide on the problem.In the middle of a sweltering summer day, the odds of refrigerant levels in your air conditioning system going down when there isn’t a leak in the line is extremely low. Everything in the system, from the fans to the water flow for cooling areas, is designed to maintain an optimal level of refrigerant for efficient cooling.
Sometimes the leak may be small, but simply adding more refrigerants into the AC is akin to turning on the heating in an igloo – it’s like throwing money into a shredder since the same issue will likely occur in the future. Depending on the size of the leak in your air conditioning systems, the issue can recur within months or years. However, either way, it remains a wasteful practice. We recommend paying for a leak search in all the duct areas, and repair always before refueling the system with refrigerant.
Before you start navigating the plethora of DIY tips online, remember that refrigerant issues should be left to professionals, especially if your unit runs on R-22, for which the Environmental Protection Agency is phasing out its use.
Your AC Makes Unusual Noises When Running
Strange sounds emanating from your air conditioner when the unit starts running or shuts off could be a sign of blower issues. But if the noise is coming from the condensing unit, it could be related to a refrigerant, compressor, or fan motor issues. These sounds could be due to loose screws, so before you call professionals, you may want to check the screws. Before you begin to unscrew the unit, do not forget to switch off the electricity in your home.
Your AC Is Not Energy Efficient
Excess energy consumption is usually a sign of poor maintenance or a low-efficiency unit. If the air filters and the ducts are not cleaned regularly, the system, including the fans and air conditioners, will need to work harder to compensate for their poor performance and will consume more energy consequently. Regular maintenance is a small price to pay for efficient performance and substantial savings on energy bills.
Your AC Keeps Running Even Though Your Home Is Cool
This often happens with old, non-programmable thermostats, so perhaps it is time for an upgrade. Although you can equip yourself with knowledge via research and learn about some reliable products out there, professional advice is usually the best bet. Certified technicians, with their expertise in all areas of air conditioning systems, will be able to recommend a compatible and reliable thermostat depending upon your type of AC system.
Of course, these cooling issues are not the only problems affecting air conditioners in summer. For instance, a dirty condenser can disrupt the flow of heat, leading to the freezing of the unit. Usually, it all depends on how well the unit in question was chosen, installed and maintained. An improper installation or incorrect wiring can lead to future problems that can hamper the efficient cooling of your living spaces.
The key to enjoying a flawlessly performing AC unit throughout the years is to work with a reputable AC company. This way, even if the worst happens, you have someone to call, someone versed in the navigation of all heating and cooling systems, who will go to any extent to restore your equipment’s functionality.
With our team’s experience, resources and know-how, solving even the most severe AC problems becomes routine. Call The Cooling Company at (702) 567-0707 or make an appointment online, and you will not be disappointed! Your comfort is our priority, and we are committed to maintaining the highest standard of cooling efficiency in the areas we serve.