As we near the dog days of summer, many homeowners continue relying on their AC system to keep their home comfortable. However, after a hot and humid summer, occasionally air conditioner problems arise. As a result, homeowners face a daunting question…what do you do if you experience any air conditioning issues?
First and foremost, every homeowner should develop a relationship with an experienced and trustworthy AC contractor.
“Homeowners face endless questions, yet, need reliable contractors when issues arise. First and foremost, ask questions that relate to identifying a trustworthy AC company or contractor. Many of the questions relate to trustworthiness because a quick search provides some of the results! If you know an answer and they respond with a lie or act cagey, then that provides a warning flag.”
Additionally, many air conditioning issues result from improper installation.
“The U.S. Department of Energy states that faulty installation can lead to leaky ducts and low airflow. At times, improper installation results in the incorrect amount of refrigerant in the system (known as refrigerant charge), not meeting the manufacturer’s specifications. This may diminish the unit’s efficiency and performance.”
Of course, working with trustworthy air conditioning contractor, such as our team at A.Johnson, ensure proper installation and operation!
My Air Conditioner Does Not Turn On!
Interestingly, one of the most common air conditioning issue remains one of the easiest solutions. Check the power and thermostat.
Frequently, the reason your AC doesn’t work is solvable for even the most novice homeowner. Check the plug and ensure the power cord connects to the outlet. Additionally, check the batteries on the thermostat. Many times the AC doesn’t turn on because the thermostat is not powered!
However, power and thermostat issues also present a few more complicated problems and solutions. For example, if the air conditioner connects to the power source, then an issue might exist with the electrical panel. Therefore, check the circuit breaker for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. Separately, if the thermostat does have working batteries, then conduct a few more tests. Try turning the dial down all the way or setting the thermostat to the lowest setting. These measures attempt to trip the air conditioner and ideally it will turn on. If not, then contact an AC expert to conduct a comprehensive review.
My Air Conditioner Continues Running But My Home Is Still Hot!
For homeowners that experience a running AC, but their home remains uncomfortable, a few common air conditioner issues. As a quick check, clean appliances work best, so check the cleanliness of many of the core components of your system.
If you work with an AC contractor that provides an annual cooling inspection, then simply call the company if any air conditioning issues occur. During an annual AC inspection, your system should undergo a thorough cleaning.
Check for Clogged Filters or Drains
Many homeowners understand the importance of changing air filters. However, at times, homeowners forget. As a result, if your home is still hot, yet your AC seems to run well, check your air filter or drain for clogs.
For example, some AC units (particularly, newer models) contain a built-in mechanism that shuts the unit down if the filter clogs. The mechanism helps prevent damage to the motor and reduces the chance of overheating. Additionally, a clogged air filter may simple reduce airflow. As a result, check the filter and clean or replace as needed.
Another possible air conditioner issue with a simple solution is checking the drain. ACs work by removing moisture from the air. However, the drain (typically a hose or pipe) occasionally becomes clogged (often with algae). And a clogged drain causes the AC system to shut down. The system shuts down as a safety measure because it prevents water from backing up into your home or the unit and causing water damage. As a result, the drain pipe can be cleaned with a mild bleach solution.
Check and Clean Air Ducts
Air ducts circulate air throughout your home. Ducts move cold air around your home in the summer (and warm air around your home in the winter). As a result, your HVAC ductwork provides the critical infrastructure to maintain home comfort.
If your AC runs, but your home remains hot, then check your air ducts. Do your air ducts look dirty? As a general rule of thumb, if you air ducts look dirty, they probably are dirty. Although an annual inspection may include ductwork, a working HVAC system simply gets dirty through normal use.
Plus, contaminants in the HVAC system cause it to work harder, which shortens the life of your system. Even with the use and routine replacement of air filters, air ducts accumulate dust and dirt. This is normal and found in all homes with air ducts.
Additionally, while checking your air ducts for cleanliness, also check them for air leaks. Many homes around the country rely on old, leaky and uninsulated HVAC ductwork. As a result, estimates show homeowners waste about 20% of heating and cooling costs on leaky duct systems. Don’t let this happen to your home! Take the time to check your air ducts and improve your home comfort.
For more information, the GreenHomes America home comfort experts share some details about your home HVAC ductwork.
My Air Conditioner Works, But Doesn’t Blow Cold Air!
Another common air conditioner issue is simply a unit that does not blow cold air. Fortunately, there are some relatively common reasons your AC likely stopped working properly. For example, power and thermostat issues, along with clogged filters or drains impact the cooling process. Additionally, some other common air conditioner issues derive from some other core components.
Clean the Compressor
The compressor requires regular maintenance, which likely occurs with an annual inspection. In particular, regions with a long winter season (like the Capital District) means an outdoor AC endures and collects leaves, dirt and other debris over the years. Although some homeowners handle compressor cleaning, enlist professional help for the best results. Professional assistance ensures your unit receives proper cleaning and the appropriate maintenance. For any DIY compressor cleaning, ensure the unit is shut off before beginning any work.
Check the Condensate Airflow Switch
The condensate airflow switch works with the draining components of your AC system. The switch integrates with the drain pipe and trips if the drain backs up with water. However, the solution remains simple. If the switch tripped, then clean the drain pipe and reset the switch.
Refill Refrigerant Levels
Although many homeowners believe coolant is used, this is a common misconception. Refrigerant coolant does not go bad or deplete. The reason air conditioners require more refrigerant is simple, the AC has a leak. Slow leaks cause refrigerant levels to drop over time, which requires professional assistance. Due to the complexity of these components, an experienced AC technician checks the lines for leaks and recharges the system, which will get it blowing cold air again.
Ice buildup occurs for a few reasons, including dirty coils or filters. As a result of dirt in the system, the AC unit lacks proper airflow. Therefore, cleaning the AC filter and coils should improve the airflow and efficiency of the system. However, if your system contains ice buildup, run the unit with just the fan in order to melt it off.
Overheating Condenser Fan Motor
The compressor, condenser coil and condenser fan motor work together to cool air. The condenser fan motor runs the fan blades, which blows air across the condenser coil and ultimately provides the cold air that flows into your home. As a result, maintaining the condenser fan motor helps prolong the life of the AC compressor. To reduce the chances of overheating your condenser fan motor ensure your AC system undergoes annual maintenance.
If you experience any air conditioning issues, call or contact us at A.Johnson and ask any question you want! We have the experience and expertise to help with any AC issue!