Air Conditioner Problems

9 Air Conditioner Problems Homeowners Encounter

When in proper working order, air conditioners can be near lifesavers. But when they take on problems (and they do take on problems), they can leave their users feeling desperate, irritable, and, well, sweaty.

As such, to prevent downtime with your air conditioner, you need to know what kinds of problems to look out for. Fortunately, we can help you with that endeavor.

Below, we’re going to discuss 9 air conditioner problems that homeowners might encounter. Let’s go!

  1. Short Cycling

We’ll start our list with one of the most common AC problems: short cycling. This is when an air conditioner turns on for a few seconds, then turns off for a few seconds, then turns on for a few seconds, repeating the process in perpetuity.

It’s not just annoying. It’s also a major problem that affects the air conditioner’s energy efficiency, not to mention its lifespan. If not fixed in a timely manner, short cycling can place substantial undue wear and tear on an air conditioning unit.

Wondering what causes short cycling? In some cases, it’s a missized air conditioning unit. For instance, the condenser might be too large for the home in which it’s cooling, thus creating confusion between its various components.

Another factor that can lead to short cycling is a malfunctioning thermostat. If the thermostat isn’t able to communicate with the sensor properly, the AC will have trouble understanding what it’s supposed to do, leading to short cycling.

Other factors that can lead to short cycling include a clogged air filter, low refrigerant levels, and a leaky duct system.

In any case, you need to have your system inspected by a professional HVAC specialist. He or she will find the source of the problem and take action to fix it.

  1. Dirty Air Filter

Due to the way that the air conditioner operates, it takes in a great deal of airborne residue. Over time, this residue can inundate the air conditioner, causing a litany of issues in the process.

For this reason, every air conditioner is stocked with an air filter. This air filter catches a good deal of the airborne residue that comes the air conditioner’s way, allowing the AC to operate at max capacity. As such, after some time, the filter becomes too dirty to function properly.

When a filter is too dirty, the air conditioner takes on substantial amounts of undue strain. This results in excess energy usage, rising energy bills, and a reduced AC lifespan.

For this reason, every 2 to 3 months, you need to swap out your air filter. Maintaining a clean filter will keep the AC running at its optimal capacity, thus maximizing its usefulness over the years.

  1. Dirty Condenser Coils

Another common issue to look out for is dirty condenser coils. The condenser coils are located in — of course — the condenser. This means that they’re outside, perpetually exposed to the elements.

As a result, the condenser coils tend to get dirty fairly quickly. And when the condenser coils get dirty, they prevent the air conditioner from working at its ultimate capacity.

Fortunately, there’s a fairly easy fix for this problem. You just have to clean your condenser coils from time to time.

Every year or so, open up your condenser, locate the condenser coils and scrub them with a brush and some water. This should remove most of the residue, allowing the coils to operate to the best of their capabilities.

  1. Dirty Ducts

Your air filter won’t catch all of the airborne residues that go into your AC. A good deal of this residue will end up in your air ducts. And over time, as this residue accumulates, it can cause a variety of problems for you.

Namely, the residue can clog the ducts, preventing air from distributing evenly to each room. This can lead to temperature inconsistencies throughout the home.

In addition, dirty ducts can cause airborne residue to blow out into the indoor environment. This can vastly reduce the quality of the air, leading to allergies.

For this reason, every 5 years or so, it’s a good idea to clean your ducts out. While you can try to do this on your own, it’s more challenging than you might think. As such, we recommend having a professional HVAC specialist do it for you.

  1. Leaking Refrigerant

Connecting the condenser to the inside of the house is the refrigerant line. This is a small, insulated cable that’s fairly innocuous in the vast majority of circumstances. That is until it leaks, at which point it becomes a major cause for concern.

See, refrigerant should never leak out of your AC system. It’s the refrigerant that produces cold air in the first place. So, if it’s missing, the AC will essentially be useless.

The second you notice a liquid under your refrigerant line, you need to go to Google and type in “AC repair near me“. Find a respectable repair service, have them come out to your home, and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. Not only do you need fresh refrigerant but you also need to have your refrigerant line patched up.

  1. Jammed Condenser

The condenser of your air conditioner is situated outside. As such, it’s exposed to all of the wonderful things that the great outdoors has to offer, from sticks to stones and much more.

It should come as no surprise then that air conditioner condensers sometimes become jammed. Objects fall into their propeller areas and prevent the propellers from turning properly.

This can have seismic effects on the air conditioner and can even cause it to stop functioning entirely. So, to ensure that this doesn’t happen, you need to keep an eye on the area around your condenser.

Makes sure that the trees and hedges are neatly trimmed so that branches can’t fall into your condenser. In addition, keep objects and general activity at least 5 feet away from the condenser at all times.

If your condenser does, indeed, become jammed, it will likely require the attention of a professional. He or she will remove the cause of the jam and then make any necessary repairs.

  1. Incorrect Thermostat

When you set a temperature on your thermostat, your hope is that your air conditioner will then produce that temperature throughout your house. Unfortunately, there are cases in which this doesn’t happen. Instead, the AC produces a temperature that is radically different from the reading on the thermostat.

Why might this happen? There are a number of reasons.

It could be bad connectivity. The wires in your thermostat could be compromised in some way. Or, the WiFi signal to your wireless thermostat could be spotty.

There’s also a chance that the sensors in your air conditioner aren’t picking up what the thermostat is telling them. If so, they’ll need to be either replaced or cleaned.

  1. Frozen Evaporator Coil

One of the more curious problems that you’ll come across is the problem of the frozen evaporator coil. Evaporator coils exist within the inside portion of the air conditioner. They’re responsible for accepting hot air and transforming it into cold air.

However, when an evaporator coil isn’t able to accept enough hot air, it starts to freeze up. In some cases, the freezing can be so bad that the coils actually become covered in ice. This is a problem, as it impairs the functionality of the AC as a whole.

The fix? Well, you can thaw the evaporator coil by turning off your AC and turning on your system’s fan. This will help to melt the ice more quickly.

After you’ve done that, you might need to clean the evaporator coils. Or, you might need to replace your air filter. Each case is different and requires a different solution.

In any case, bring in an air conditioning repair specialist to inspect your broken AC unit. They’ll locate the source of the problem and take all necessary measures to fix it.

  1. Motor Not Running

In some cases, the AC’s motor will stop running. Why this might be happening is hard to pin down.

In some cases, it’s a clogged air filter that’s the problem. In other cases, a tripped circuit breaker is the problem. There could also be problems with the capacitor, fan blades, and thermostat.

Have an ac service las vegas professional to check out the issue in order to get to the bottom of it. Either a repair or a replacement can be facilitated.

Keep These Air Conditioner Problems at Bay

These air conditioner problems can create some fairly tough times. As such, you need to do everything in your power to keep them at bay. Keep an eye on your AC and perform maintenance whenever needed.

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