AC Maintenance 101: 9 Must-Know Tips for Troubleshooting and Repair
Like any other appliance, your air conditioner needs some care in order to deliver optimal performance for a long time. Unless an AC is kept in top condition, it tends to struggle during the hot season and you definitely don’t want it breaking down when you need it the most.
There are certain problems and repairs you can troubleshoot all by yourself before you finally decide to call in an expert. Before all those problems crop up, you need to identify them and take care of them so that come to the next heat wave, you and your family will be well sorted. Here are the top 9 AC maintenance and troubleshooting tips every homeowner needs to know.
1. Check How Dirty The Filter Is
This is the very first problem, and the easiest to solve on the list. You’d be surprised at how many people call in professionals to check their AC only to find a dirty filter. A clogged filter will restrict airflow and decrease the efficiency and ability to cool the air effectively.
AC filters need to get cleaned and changed on a regular basis, especially for people who own pets because failure to clean or change the filters could lead to an air conditioner malfunction so be vigilant.
2. The AC Doesn’t Turn On
One of the most common reasons why homeowners call AC experts is because the switched their AC on and nothing happened. Power outage, a tripped circuit breaker, or a blown fuse maybe some of the reasons why it won’t turn on. It may also be loose or broken wiring so check these out before you actually call in an expert.
3. The AC Blows Hot Air
If you turn on your air conditioner just to discover that it’s blowing hot air, the first thing you need to look at is the thermostat. Ensure it is not set on ‘heat’ and if it is, just turns it back to ‘cool’ or ‘auto’. If that’s not the problem, calling in a professional may be the best idea.
It might be just a small fix, but if you delay the repair, it may lead to a major problem. Addressing small issues as they arise is always a better idea when it comes to AC maintenance.
4. The AC Smells Weird
When water collects into an AC system, bacteria build up and may cause a very foul odor. Most of the time, that scent resembles that of vinegar, and in worse cases, that of urine. If you run on the AC, it would leave the house smelling the same.
There are certain problems that may cause this problem, such as an old filter or a leaky antifreeze. Check whether there are any damages to the AC, whether your pet has access, or whether the filter needs to get replaced. Depending on the problem, you may need to call a professional before you get sick from it.
5. Short Cycling Problems
When the air conditioner keeps restarting after every few minutes, there may be several reasons for it. First, it could be from a faulty thermostat, but it could also be a dirty filter or a leaking refrigerant. In this case, you need to start with the most basic feature, which is the filter then move on to the refrigerant leak.
You need to keep in mind that topping off the Freon will not solve the leak issue. You need to locate and fix the leak before you get to that. If you find something you cannot fix, call in Americare Heat & Air professionals.
6. A Frozen Coil
A frozen coil is also a common AC unit maintenance problems and could be the reason why it’s not blowing air. Fortunately, this is something you can fix on your own. Some of the reasons why your coil may get frozen are; broken parts, restricted airflow, low refrigerant, or the low outside temperature.
When you notice this problem, the first thing you should do is turn off your AC and turn the fan to ‘auto’ to melt any ice around the coil. Check whether there is any dirt or debris on the filter and clean it up. You should also check for disconnections or obstructions on the ductwork to ensure there are no blockages.
If the problem persists, it may be due to low refrigerant caused by a leak or a damaged refrigerant line.
7. A Blown Motor (Won’t Start)
If your air AC doesn’t start because the blower motor refuses to fire up, you may be dealing with a tripped breaker. Check the breaker panel for the condenser and fan breakers. If any of them is halfway tripped, turn it off then back on again to see whether it’ll start. If it flips back after turning it on, it could be faulty and you may need to replace it entirely.
If that’s not the cause of the problem, check the overflow shut-off switch. It might be that a clogged drain shit it off and killed the power unit or the switch has malfunctioned. Check whether the hose or drain line is clogged or working as it should.
8. Leaking Refrigerant
If your AC system was undercharged during installation, the refrigerant may be low. However, it may also be low if there’s a leak and that needs to be fixed immediately. Repairing a leak however is not something for everyone.
You may try to fix it with a Freon leak repair kit if you are dealing with minor leaks. If not, call in a professional technician to come over and fix it.
9. A Noisy AC
The major reasons why your AC could be noisy are dirty fan motors, deteriorating bearings, or worn belts. If you detect noise, you may want to shut it off and ask a technician to check where the problem is. They may also do an AC maintenance check while they are it and see if they can find other problems.
AC Maintenance And Troubleshooting Problems Solved
As you can see, there are several AC maintenance problems that you can prevent or solve on your own. However, some of the more complicated ones need professional help. Try not to delay minor repairs as they could become major and very expensive to fix. Read on if you’d like to know more about home maintenance.