The scorching heat of summer is nearly here, and there’s nothing more comforting than the cool breeze of an air conditioning (AC) unit. However, even the most reliable AC units can sometimes fail. Understanding how to identify these issues is critical to taking care of them promptly.
Understanding the Basics
First, you need to understand the basics of your system. This will help you more effectively troubleshoot the AC unit when something goes wrong. The central AC unit consists of two parts: the evaporator (indoors) and the condenser (outdoors). The system cools the air by circulating refrigerant between these two parts. Whenever a part of this complex duo fails, your comfort can quickly turn into a hot mess.
Here are tips for troubleshooting common AC issues.
1. AC is Not Cooling
Arguably the most common complaint is that the AC is not cooling effectively. First, check the thermostat. Is it set to the right temperature? Is it on the ‘cool’ setting? If not, adjust accordingly. If your thermostat is in good shape, but the problem continues, you might have a dirty air filter, which hinders airflow and reduces efficiency.
2. AC is Not Turning On
If your AC is not turning on, check the power supply. Is your AC unit plugged in correctly? Is there a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker? If everything seems fine but your AC still won’t start, you might have a more severe issue like a damaged motor or a faulty thermostat.
3. AC is Running but Not Cooling Enough
An AC that’s running but not cooling enough can be due to several issues. One common cause is a low refrigerant level. This could indicate a leak, which should be repaired by a professional HVAC technician. Also, check if the outdoor unit is clean and free of obstructions, as this could hinder the condensing process.
4. Restricted Airflow
A dirty air filter can often cause many issues in your air conditioning system. For example, a dirty air filter restricts the airflow to your AC, which results in decreased efficiency and can even cause the AC unit to freeze up. If your air filter looks dirty, it’s best to replace it with a new one. Typically, you will need to replace your filter every few months.
5. AC is Making Strange Noises
A little hum from your AC unit is normal, but if it’s making excessive noise, you could have a problem. A buzzing sound could indicate an electrical issue, while a banging or clanking sound could mean there’s a loose or broken part. It’s always best to turn off the unit and call an HVAC professional in such cases to prevent further damage.
6. AC is Leaking Water
While a certain amount of condensation is normal, a significant leak is not. This can happen because of a clogged condensate drain line or a cracked drain pan. Clearing the line or replacing the pan should resolve the issue. However, if the leak is refrigerant, it’s a much more serious problem requiring professional assistance.
Professional Maintenance is Key
While basic troubleshooting can solve minor issues, regular professional maintenance is essential for the longevity and efficiency of your AC system. Regular maintenance not only helps in identifying potential issues before they become major problems but also ensures your unit is operating at peak efficiency.
When to Call the Pros
In some situations, you’re better off leaving the troubleshooting to professionals. If you’ve run through the basic checks and the problem persists, it’s time to call in a professional HVAC technician. Similarly, if you notice any refrigerant leaks or unusual noises or if your AC frequently cycles on and off, it’s best to get professional help.
Trust the signs your system is giving you, and don’t hesitate to call in the experts when needed. After all, the objective is to keep your home comfortable, and a well-functioning AC system is a key player in that mission. Staying cool during the summer is much easier with a well-maintained AC.
TS Heat & Air offers professional heating and cooling services for customers in Bethany and the surrounding areas. Our company also provides emergency services, indoor air quality control, and equipment change-outs. Delivering quality HVAC services and meeting the needs of each customer is always a priority. Feel free to give TS Heat & Air a call to learn more information about our HVAC services.