One of the most valuable skills you can have as a homeowner is the willingness to learn new things to make it easier to perform upkeep on your property. While some tasks will always demand the help of skilled trade workers who can work with specific systems safely, sometimes there are simple fixes for issues typically encountered around the house. To a certain extent, that’s even true of your air conditioner. Let’s look at some common AC problems, how to troubleshoot them, and when to pass off fixing the issue to a professional.
Common Problem #1: Blank Thermostats
A blank thermostat is a bewildering sight because it’s not what you expect when changing your temperature. This confusing problem often has an easy fix, though: its batteries may have died. In that case, simply remove the thermostat from the wall with a gentle tug, then replace the batteries with a fresh pair. If that still doesn’t resolve the issue, check your circuit breaker, then call an HVAC contractor for help if the problem persists.
Common Problem #2: Poor Airflow Through Vents
When your electricity bills seem to climb every month without a change in your habits, poor airflow could be the culprit. Does your home take a long time to cool off even if you’ve only changed the thermostat temperature by one degree? A dirty and clogged air filter could cause your system to overwork, using more electricity without cooling as efficiently. Change your filter to see if the flow of air coming through your vents increases. Remember, you should always change your filter about once every month — there are many good reasons for doing so.
Common Problem #3: Hot Air Blowing From Vents
When your air conditioner turns on and seems to run correctly, but hot air blows out of the vents, you’ve encountered one of the most frustrating yet common AC problems. While a filter change might help, it’s likelier there is an equipment problem in the refrigeration cycle. It would help if you prioritized contacting an HVAC service provider you trust to diagnose the problem. This sign could indicate a broken AC compressor or an issue such as a fan operating incorrectly.
Common Problem #4: Visible Ice On Refrigerant Tubes
A “frozen” AC can be a worrisome sight, and it often accompanies hot air blowing from the vents. Most commonly, you will see ice on the indoor refrigerant lines that run into the home. This issue usually occurs when there is a problem with the compressor or a low level of refrigerant pressure in the system. The ice you see is the humidity of the air condensing and freezing on the lines, which become very cold in these scenarios. First, turn your system off until the ice melts, then contact a service provider to check your system’s pressure and other vital attributes.
Common Problem #5: Water Puddles and AC Turning Off
Spotting a pool of water anywhere near your air conditioning equipment indoors can be a cause for concern. Some water outside near your AC is okay, as it most likely stems from the condensate drain pipe. When you spot water indoors, and your equipment frequently switches off, though, your drain pan may be overflowing. When too much condensation collects, an emergency shut-off float switch usually cuts the power to your AC, seeking to prevent damage. Dirt, roots, and other debris might clog the drainpipe, and a professional will need to use special equipment to clear it out for you.
Common Problem #6: AC Runs Continuously Without Cooling
When your air conditioner doesn’t seem to blow hot air but the temperature hardly ever drops, your unit may have reached the end of its useful lifespan. There can be other issues at play as well, but if your system is 10 to 15 years old or more, it may no longer have the capability to cool your space adequately. The best troubleshooting step for this issue is simple enough: contact a service provider to diagnose your system to locate the root cause or suggest alternatives.
Finding Professional Help With Common AC Problems
When you encounter any of these common AC problems, deciding what steps to take next isn’t always easy. In some cases, it’s easy to see you can handle a fix on your own, such a changing a filter or replacing batteries in the thermostat. When actual equipment begins to fail, though, such as a weak or blown compressor, you’ll need to reach out to someone who has the knowledge and experience to safely and quickly provide you with a solution. Know what questions to ask your contractor and set yourself up for a better service experience when choosing a trusted team.