This page will teach you how to troubleshoot common problems with your air conditioning (AC) unit. It is best to deal with a minor issue at once than to allow it to get out of hand.
Aside from minor repairs, you must perform regular maintenance of your AC. Pay attention to its fins, coils, and filters, since they contribute to the unit’s performance and energy efficiency.
Regularly Check the Three Important Parts of Your AC
You can always leave significant repairs and general AC maintenance to the professionals. However, you can clean the coil fins, AC coils, and filters on a regular basis to guarantee they are always in good operating order.
The condenser coils and the evaporator’s aluminum fins get easily bent. When this happens, the airflow is blocked, causing the motor to overwork. One thing you can do about the problem is to buy a fin comb. This tool is available from any AC wholesaler. The tool can be used to comb the fins back to their natural state.
After months or years of use, the coils in the condenser and evaporator accumulate dirt. Keeping the filter clean is the greatest technique to keep the evaporator coil clean for a longer period of time. However, it is normal for the evaporator coil to gather dirt through time.
When you allow the dirt to linger without doing anything about it, the dirt will insulate the coil, making it difficult to absorb heat. Check the evaporator coil and clean it at least once a year.
A dusty outdoor environment or nearby foliage can cause the outdoor condenser coils to become dirty. You can easily notice when the fins gather dirt, which means that the coil is also dirty. It’s best to clean the area around the coil, trim the foliage nearby, and remove any debris. Your goal is to keep the air from flowing around the condenser.
You have to check what kind of filter your AC unit has. Some filters require replacement, while others are reusable. You have to replace or clean your AC filter every month or two, or more often if you use the unit constantly, you have pets with fur at home, or the unit is often exposed to dust.
For ACs typically used in rooms, you will likely find the filter mounted in the grill. For central AC, it can be in the unit itself, ceilings, walls, or anywhere along the length of the duct.
The airflow may lack efficiency or reduce when you keep using the unit despite a clogged filter. Instead of the dust getting filtered, it might go directly to the coil, damaging its capacity to absorb heat. Cleaning or replacing your AC filter can lower your energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
Air Conditioner Repair Tips for the Experts
Here are the top things you can do when the AC unit stops running all of a sudden or the air it blows is not cool:
1. Change or replace the filter
Aside from clogging the coils, a dirty filter can cause the system to ice up.
2. Check the thermostat
If you have an AC unit that runs on a battery, you may only need to replace the batteries. Set the thermostat at a temperature below the temperature of the room. Make sure that the setting is not set to fan and the unit is turned on.
3. Check the breaker
You may have a breaker that has been tripped if the unit won’t turn on without any obvious cause. It usually happens when many appliances, including the AC unit, are using the same breaker.
4. Check the ducts
Note that you can do this by climbing into your attic. You only need to check if the air is coming out of the vents. If not, this means that they are dirty, causing the air to be blocked. In this case, you have to clean the ducts. This may also mean that a register may be fully or partly closed. It will help to have a cursory check to check if the ducts allow the air to flow.
5. Clean the unit
Most of the time, an AC doesn’t function like usual, not because it needs repair but requires thorough cleaning. Take the unit outside to remove debris and clean condenser fins and fan blades. You must be careful handling these parts as they can break when exposed to sudden force. You always have to ensure that the unit is not plugged or turned on before cleaning it.
6. Melt the ice
The unit will not provide sufficient cool when it is iced up. To melt the ice, turn it off and wait until the ice melts. You can speed up the process by turning it off and running the fan.
When to Call a Pro
When all else fails after you’ve done everything to try fixing your AC unit, it is best to hand the task over to a professional. They can inspect the unit further and perform the following:
● Check that the thermostat is accurate
● Check belts for signs of wear and tightness
● Oil the motors
● Apply a non-conductive coating if needed
● Check the electric terminals
● Ensure that the cooling system and heating system cannot operate at the same time
● Check leakage in ducts of central systems and seal if necessary
● Check the refrigerant and make sure there are no leaks
The longer you use the air conditioner, the more often you have to check, maintain, and clean it. You can take basic steps to keep the unit and its important parts clean. However, when you think that you can no longer do anything about what’s causing the AC to fail, call a pro nearest you. They will know what to look for and what to do to ensure that your AC will work again like brand new.