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Common Air Conditioner Problems

Posted on AC Maintenance, AC Repair, AC Tips, The Cooler Blog, Tips July 16, 2013

Many homeowners will agree that improper A/C operation is one of the more common issues. Always close your windows and doors when your air conditioner is on. With room air conditioners, seclude the room or group of connected rooms as best as you can from the rest of your home. Other common A/C problems result from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and improper maintenance. Incorrect installation of a central air conditioner will result in leaky ducts and poor airflow. In many cases, the refrigerant amount doesn’t match the manufacturer’s specifications and if refrigerant charging is not performed during installation, the unit’s performance and efficiency is faulty.

If your air conditioner fails, check any fuses or circuit breakers. Let the unit cool down between 5–10 minutes before resetting any breakers. If the compressors of a central air conditioner stop, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped. Reset it by pushing the button, located in the compressor’s access panel.

Refrigerant Leaks
If your A/C system is low on refrigerant, either it was undercharged at installation or leakage has occurred. With leaks, adding refrigerant is not a solution. A trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Refrigerant leaks are hazardous to the environment.

Inadequate Maintenance
If air conditioner filters and coils become dirty, the unit will not work properly, and the compressor and/or fans are likely to fail prematurely.

Electric Control Failure
The compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioning system frequently turns on and off or when a system is over-sized. Many systems will have corroded wires and terminals; a professional tech should check the electrical connections and contacts during a service call.

Sensor Problems
Room air conditioners have a thermostat sensor that measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. Located behind the control panel, if the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could behave erratically. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it. It can be adjusted by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

Drainage Problems
When it’s humid outside, check the condensate drain to make sure it’s draining properly. Room air conditioners may not drain correctly if it’s not mounted at the right level.


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