Do you know how to prevent the most common problems that your air conditioner at home will encounter?
The truth is, your air conditioning unit will really go through the natural wear and tear process. No matter how many times you have it checked, repaired, and maintained, it will encounter problems. What you can do is to make sure that you know what these problems are. Or better yet, find out the causes of the problems so you can head them off. If you know what to expect, you will know when your air conditioner starts acting up. You can act quickly and ensure that the problem will not be too much of a hassle to you and your family.
Common causes of air conditioner problems
Most of the problems of air conditioning units have causes that you can identify early to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. Here are the most common ones.
Low level of refrigerant
Your air conditioner uses the refrigerant to remove the heat in the air. This will ensure that the air circulating in your home will not be warm or humid – making it very comfortable for everyone inside. Sometimes, units develop leaks that lower the level of refrigerant. This will compromise the ability of the unit to cool the air and make it work harder than it has to. It can quickly lead to more problems if you do not add to the refrigerant and find the leak that causes the level to go down.
Leaks in the duct system
Speaking of leaks, you might as well check the ductwork to ensure that there are no leaks. It is not just the refrigerant that can leak. If there are leaks in your ductwork, it can also lose the cooled air that should have been circulating your home. If your air conditioner detects that your home does not have enough cool air, it will keep on working hard to cool things further. Make sure holes and leaks in the duct systems are dealt with to lengthen the lifespan of your air conditioning unit. Not only that, but it will also help lower your energy bills.
Filthy condenser coils
This is a part of the outdoor unit of your air conditioner. It helps remove the heat from the air by releasing it outside. If this becomes dirty, it cannot work properly. With the pollution that we have today, this is most likely to happen frequently. You need to make sure this is kept clean. Otherwise, it will force your unit to work harder and it might eventually lead to the failure of the system – or at least a few parts.
Iced evaporator coils
The evaporator coil is filled with refrigerant. Its main function is to absorb the heat from the air. To work properly, this particular coil needs warm air to surround it. However, if the airflow is compromised, the evaporator can ice up because of the cold. This will compromise the warm air that should have been coming out of your air conditioner.
There are usually two fans in your air conditioning unit. One blows the indoor air over the evaporator coil. This helps cool the air. Then there is another that blows air over the condenser coil to remove the absorbed heat so it is expelled outside. These fans play an important role so both of them should always be working properly. Failure to address the problems of either of the fans will cause the compressor to fail. When that happens, you might want to prepare your wallet to buy a new air conditioning unit.
When the air conditioner removes the heated air from the inside, it also removes the moisture in it. This is how it deals with the humidity. This moisture has to go somewhere. That is what the drain line is for. Over time, this drain will accumulate dirt and maybe even debris. If it clogs the drain, the unit might flood with water.
Finally, a common cause of problems in an air conditioner involves the thermostat. If you have the old thermostat, you should seriously consider changing it. Sometimes, the dial-type thermostats are not calibrated correctly and it has to be adjusted to make sure the unit will work properly. If you have the budget to have it replaced, you may want to get the programmable one. It will easily regulate the temperature inside – as long as you set it correctly.
Tips to prevent common air conditioner problems
Here are helpful tips that will allow you to prevent the most common problems of your air conditioner.
- Make sure the air filters are clean. You either replace it or clean it regularly. If the air filters are dirty it can compromise the air flow and can lead to the freezing of coils.
- Regularly inspect ducts for leaks and holes. If you find any, make sure these are repaired or replaced whenever necessary. If you have no idea how to do this, hire an HVAC professional to help.
- Always check the outdoor unit. Make sure the surrounding area is clear from obstruction. You should also sweep off any dirt or debris that may have landed on it. Any trash should be properly disposed of.
- Get a programmable thermostat. There are modern thermostats that will really help your air conditioner function properly. Not only that, but it will also help you save on energy.
Schedule regular maintenance. Even if you know the parts and functions of your air conditioner, it is still better to have an expert look at your unit at least once a year. They can identify problems better than you can because they are trained to do it.