Air conditioners provide us with much-needed relief during those periods of the year when the weather threatens to turn us into puddles on the sidewalk. However, if you want to keep your air conditioner a source of comfort and joy, it’s vital to take excellent care of it. Air conditioners are like any other piece of complex machinery, in that they require regular maintenance. Without it, air conditioner problems can reduce a unit’s efficiency or cause it to break down completely.
Avoiding air conditioner problems is considerably easier when you know what to look for, so it helps to educate yourself on some of the most common air conditioning problems faced by homeowners across the United States. In this post, we’ll talk about the three main things that cause problems with your air conditioner, as well as what to do when you notice that your system is on the fritz.
Where do Air Conditioning Problems Originate?
Below is a list of the three factors that contribute most to poor air conditioning performance and eventual breakdowns. Familiarize yourself with these issues so you can prevent them from happening to your system.
1) Not Enough Maintenance: the primary cause of air conditioner problems is negligence. Sometimes, the negligence can be traced back to the contractor who installed the air conditioner—if, for instance, the system was not correctly sized. However, in most cases, the customer still bears some responsibility for this problem, since it‘s their job to choose the professionals they trust with installing their air conditioner in the first place. Always look for licensed contractors who have a well-established history of successful air conditioning installations.
Of course, maintenance is just as necessary once your unit has been installed. Even the best air conditioners will deteriorate without regular maintenance, regardless of how flawless their installation has been. If you want your unit to survive, make sure to check the filters every month and clean or replace them. You’ll also want to clear objects at least two feet away from your outdoor unit to prevent blockages, and routinely examine your ducts for cracks and leaks. Poor air circulation from any of these problems can cause the overwork of components in your system, wearing it out prematurely.
2)Leaking Refrigerant: refrigerant is the chemical that allows your system to perform its primary function: namely, cooling the air in your home. It accomplishes this by changing states between a liquid and a gas, which either absorbs or releases heat. As such, a system without enough refrigerant is a system that will be unable to cool your home. If your aircon is leaking coolant, you will want to have it fixed as soon as possible.
Sometimes, a system can be low on refrigerant because it was undercharged, meaning that not enough coolant was put in during installation. In these scenarios, putting more refrigerant in the system should be enough to solve the problem. However, in cases where your air conditioner is leaking coolant, the leak must be fixed. Just putting more refrigerant in the system will not stop it from being lost, and will lead to further wear-and-tear on your system as it struggles to cope without this essential component.
Please note that it is never a clever idea to handle refrigerant unless you are a trained technician. Refrigerant has the potential to be harmful to the environment and can be a health hazard when mishandled.
3)Electrical Problems: not all the components in your air conditioner are mechanical. Some are electrical. However, electrical systems can fail just as easily as mechanical ones, and if they are not corrected quickly, they can put the rest of your system at risk. Wires can become corroded, fan controls can wear out, and thermostats can suffer from malfunctions.
One of the best ways to make sure your electrical systems are in proper working order is to arrange for yearly service calls to your home from a trained technician. Air conditioning technicians should be able to check your electrical connections and components when they visit your property and alert you if any of them are showing signs of failure. Skilled technicians will also be able to fix refrigerant leaks, clear blockages from your ducts, and solve most other problems that contribute to severe performance or efficiency issues.
The More You Know About Air Conditioning Problems, the Easier You Can Steer Clear of Them
Understanding that most air conditioning problems are merely the result of inattention makes it easy to prevent them. Just take diligent care of your air conditioner, and make sure that you have help from professionals when you need it. For more information on how to take care of your system, explore the rest of our blog or contact Valley Comfort Heating & Air to speak directly with a licensed professional.