Having a comfortable living with an AC becomes hard when your AC stops working in the middle of summer days. Not to mention, it sometimes takes a significant amount of money to get the AC fixed. If you’re looking to know about the common problems of AC to prevent them, then this is the right place. Moreover, we’ll also provide you with suitable solutions to these problems if you face any of these.
Common Problems of AC and how to solve them
The compressor is vital to the AC when it comes to cooling the room. It applies energy to the refrigerant and propels the energy to the coils for heat exchange. The room cools down as a result of this process.
Problems with this compressor arise when the refrigerant in the AC goes down due to different issues. The lower amount of refrigerant causes the compressor to overheat. If this problem isn’t fixed, the refrigerant in the AC will go down too much, which can cause the compressor to fail.
You can both solve and prevent the problem through one way- just recharge the refrigerant in the AC. You’ll find the required refrigerant written somewhere on the box or the body of the AC. Make sure you fill it with the correct refrigerant.
2. Condenser Coils
Your AC’s condenser coils should be there in the outside unit alongside the compressor. Your AC might perform poorly if the condenser coils end up clogged.
They can also corrode over time due to something called Galvanic Corrosion which occurs due to the tubes of one metal being welded by coils of another. For instance, this kind of corrosion occurs when the tubes are of copper, and the coils are aluminium. As copper is expensive, most manufacturers use aluminium instead.
However, you can easily clean up the condenser using a water hose when you can. If it’s too dirty, it’d be a better idea to call in an HVAC technician, who will clean it with a chemical cleaner. There is a way to prevent this problem, though. The best air conditioners come with Gold Fin or Blue Fin technology, where a special anti-corrosive coating is used on the tubes to make them stay clean longer.
3. Evaporator Coils
Another source of weak cooling could be lousy evaporator coils. Evaporator Coils are essential for bringing cold air into the room. That’s because these coils absorb the heat from the air and cool it before circulating the cold air back into your room.
One of the most common problems of AC you’ll have to deal with when it comes to the evaporator coils is corrosion. In this case, the corrosion occurs due to water coming from leaks, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in your indoor air.
You can clean up the corrosion if it’s moderate, though you might have to call in a professional when the coils have too much of it. Also, make sure you fix the leak as well.
Now, there are also a few ways you can prevent the coils from reaching such a state. The first thing to do is clean the coils up every six months, or at least in every year.
The other thing you can do is reduce the VOCs present inside your rooms. Such VOCs include salt, which is one of the main reasons for coil corrosion. To get rid of the VOCs, you can opt to install some fairly inexpensive air purifiers in the rooms that need cooling.
Like most other air-producing electronic devices, the AC also uses capacitors. There are two capacitors, the start capacitor and the run capacitor. The start capacitor starts up the motor with a jolt while the run capacitor keeps sending a series of jolts to keep the motor running.
If you notice the ACs motors not turning on, that means the start capacitor has burnt out and needs to be replaced. Likewise, if your motor stops working frequently, you should change the run capacitor to a new one.
5. Fuses And Breakers
The motor and compressor of the AC tend to overheat as they run continuously. Fuses and breakers are meant to prevent this overheating. If you notice that the motor doesn’t run anymore, that means it likely broken. If the fuses and breakers malfunction, that can happen. The best thing you can do in that case is to get the motor replaced and get an HVAC technician to check up on the AC’s breakers.
Drainage is a vital part of your AC, like air filters. As time goes on, the drain line eventually ends up clogged because of dirt, lint and dust, which is one of the most common problems of AC. As a consequence, the drain pan fills up with water and the stored water leaks out once it overflows. The leaking water can cause damage to your AC. If you notice way too much water coming from your AC, you should check the drainage and clean it up properly.
7. Leakage In Refrigerants
ACs need refrigerants to make air conditioning work. The refrigerants stay in the copper coils, and the AC uses them to cool and dehumidify the indoor air.
In the case of a leak, the AC will fail to function correctly, and there will be a lot of temperature fluctuations, as there will be much fewer refrigerants to cool with. The refrigerant levels need to match the manufacturer specifications, and can’t be overcharged or undercharged.
You can’t just add the refrigerant if a leak happens, though. Getting a technician to look at it would be the best option, as they will put in the right amount of refrigerants alongside fixing the leak up and testing if everything works out correctly.
8. Thermostat Malfunction
The thermostat controls the cooling of the AC. It keeps the temperature around the level you set it to. If you notice that your AC is continually cycling or behaving erratically, then the sensor most likely is out of position. You should find it near the coil, though not touching it. Simply adjust the position by carefully bending the wire that keeps it in place.
9. Clogged Air Filters
The air filters are essential if you want to stay in good health. They remove contaminants like dust, smoke, grease and pollen from the air. If they end up getting clogged, not only does your health get put at risk, but the AC also stops functioning well. The airflow will reduce significantly, and the AC unit itself might freeze. Besides, the compressor and fans are also at risk.
Most air filters are easy to clean, so if you’re facing a problem because of them, here’s what you need to do; Turn the AC off and open up the front cover, you’ll see the air filters under. They should look similar to something like a mesh. Just using a small vacuum cleaner or water hose should be enough to get them clean after you remove them from the AC.
However, there’s another thing to keep in mind before you proceed to do this. You have to check your air conditioner’s manual to see if the filters can be cleaned and re-used. Some filters need to be disposed of and replaced instead. For the latter, you must change the filter every three months to keep the AC functioning properly.
10. Electric Control Failures
AC’s fan and compressor controls can wear out over time. Such a case is more likely to appear if you use your air conditioner often. Controls can start showing problems when a system is oversized.
The malfunctioning controls might be results of wire and terminal corrosion. Get a professional to look over the electrical contacts and connections to see if something is wrong and get them to fix it for you. After all, tinkering around with electrical devices you’re not familiar with might end up being bad for both the AC and you.
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Signs that your AC is Failing
Of course, we all know that all these issues need a lot of money and effort to get fixed. It’s all the better if you spot the signs of a malfunctioning AC early on. If you get the AC checked every once in a while, the technician that checks should notice these issues. But, you can be aware earlier if you look out for certain signs. We’ll discuss these signs in this part of the article.
1. Constant Running
If you use your AC continuously but notice small instances where it runs even after being shut off, then that’s a sign that there’s something wrong with the AC. You can also take notice of this abnormal operation once you take a look at your electric bills and notice that they’re a little higher than usual.
2. Blowing Warm Air
This is one of the most obvious signs, and you’ll notice it quickly. On hot days, you’ll feel the heat even with the AC turned on, and the air will just keep getting warmer. If the AC creates such air, then that would mean something is wrong with the compressor, or there’s a leak in the coils somewhere.
3. Abnormal Noises
ACs generally make noise as they work, unless the AC is an inverter AC. It’s an inevitability, as the compressors and outer units of these ACs create noises as they start. However, if you notice that the AC is making more noises than usual, like shuddering, clanking or bumping noises, then you should probably get it looked at. Though, before you do so, can check the insides yourself to see if there are any branches or twigs are lodged inside.
4. Slower Air Delivery
If an AC is alright, then the airflow doesn’t change much over time. If you maintain it properly, that is. If your AC blows out so slowly you can notice it right away; then there’s something likely blocking off the airflow. That could happen due to a problem with the ductwork or clogged air filters. As such, you need to look at the AC and fix up whatever the issue it to get a better airflow again.
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Common Problems of AC – Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I leave my AC fan on or set it to auto?
The “auto” and “on” settings control the blower of the AC. On auto, the fan of your AC will turn on and off automatically according to sensor inputs. On the other hand, if the fan setting is set to on, then it will keep running continuously. The auto option is safer for your AC, as using the other option means that the fan will run all the time the AC’s running, causing it to wear out over time.
2. How long can I keep my AC on each day?
You can leave it turned on for as long as you prefer. The only thing that you should make sure the AC you get has an ability most of the best ACs come with. These ACs employ smart usage of sensors to keep the cooling optimal without being too taxing on the power consumption or the appliance itself.
For instance, some ACs can provide fast cooling but minimise it once the overall temperature reaches your set level. This reduction puts less strain on the AC parts while it powers up every once in a while to reduce the temperature if it goes above the set level.
3. Can I use an AC without a stabiliser?
Most of the newest air conditioners do come with an inbuilt stabiliser. However, it’s a good idea to get a separate stabiliser nonetheless, as it provides further protection against voltage fluctuations.
4. What point should I consider calling in a technician?
Once you analyse your AC with any of the problems mentioned earlier, you can fix it yourself if the problem is minor and can be fixed by cleaning or repositioning things. If things seem more complicated, then you can try and see if there’s anything useful on the air conditioner’s instruction manual. But, if the issue is regarding any internal wiring or electrical problems, then your best choice would be to get a technician to fix the AC for you.
Recommended Reading: Split AC vs Window AC – Which one should you buy?
These are all the common problems of AC you might face when using one. Still, you can reduce the number of issues significantly if you buy the best air conditioners that come with additional protection technologies. Moreover, it would help if you always put your AC through annual maintenance, to get the best performance and lifetime out of it.
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