It becomes a nightmare when your AC stops to work in summer days due to any problems with it. Actually, inadequate maintenance, irregular or poor service, and improper operation can cause problems in any of the appliances you use in your home or office.
So as with your AC also. It is a good idea to be aware of some of the common Air conditioner problems before the summer starts. You must schedule a repair or maintenance to keep your AC free from any problems and to improve its efficiency as well.
A. Common Air Conditioner Problems
The compressor in an AC applies energy to the refrigerant to cool the room. It propels the energy through the coils to carry out heat exchange. Over time the refrigerant in an AC becomes less due to different problems associated with it and the compressor runs hot an eventually seize.
If this problem will not short out in time the refrigerant becomes too much less and returns to the compressor which can cause the compressor to fail.
2. Condenser Coils
The condenser coils in an AC are located in the outside unit with the compressor. Over time these coils become clogged and dirty due to some other elements and reduce the cooling capacity of the air conditioner.
These coils need regular maintenance and cleaning at least once in a year by an HVAC technician when becomes too dirty. The technician will clean them with a chemical cleaner. But you can clean them with a water hose timely.To get a clear idea about the maintenance of coils READ: Maintaining your AC.
3 Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils in an AC is the main source of cooling air to your indoor blown through them. It absorbs heat from the air and cools it before the air is circulated back to your indoor using the series of air ducts. If these coils are located outside they become corroded and requires annual maintenance. But if these coils are located inside they require maintenance every three years.
Each electronic device needs a capacitor so as an AC too. An AC needs two capacitors such as the start capacitor and the run capacitor. The function of the start capacitor is to send a jolt to activate the motor whereas the run capacitor provides a series of jolts to keep the motor working continuously. If any of these capacitors will be burnt out the AC will not work efficiently which is a major problem in ACs.
5. Fuses Or Breakers
The fuses and the breakers in an AC save the motor of the AC unit or compressor from overheating due to continuous running. When any of these gets dysfunctioned the motor needs replacement. And if the motor dies, the HVAC technician checks the breaker of your AC.
The drainage is another vital part of the AC just like as the air filters. Over time the drain line becomes clogged due to dust, lint, and dirt and the drain pan fills up with water. And this stored water starts to leak when overflows and causes damage to your AC unit along with whatever is around the pan.
7. Leakage In Refrigerants
The refrigerants in an AC are in a gas/liquid/fluid form to make the air conditioning possible. These refrigerants are contained within the copper coils of the AC cool and dehumidify the indoor air of the room.
A refrigerant absorbs the heat from the room and transitions from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid and leaves the hot air outside of the room. Again it transitions back to liquid when the compressor of the AC compresses. This cycle repeats.
Hence, when there are any leakages in them the AC unit will not perform efficiently and there will be the fluctuation of temperature. But you can avoid this problem if you have a solution for annual maintenance. Otherwise, it may be costly for you to repair this refrigerant leakage. To get a thorough knowledge about the refrigerants,
8. Thermostat Problems
The thermostat controls the temperature of your AC as you set for the room. You can notice it behind the control panel of your AC. The work of this thermostat is to measure the temperature of the incoming air into the evaporator coil. Therefore, a problematic sensor can hamper the efficacy of your AC and it needs to be checked during the annual service session.
9. Problems With The Air Filters
Air filters play a vital role in the cleansing of the air flow through the AC by removing solid contaminants like dust, pollen, smoke, and grease to enhance the quality of the indoor air. These filters affect the energy efficiency and lifespan of your AC as well as your health if they are clogged and dirty.
You must know that all the filters are not similar in each air conditioner. Different air filters need different maintenance. It is better to go through the article: Types of filters used in AC
Actually, these filters are commonly installed at the return air of the most air conditioners and they not only reduce the air flow but can cause the AC unit to freeze also if get clogged.
10. Worn Contractor
Any worn in the contactors of an air conditioner not only hampers the AC unit but also becomes difficult for the electric power to start the motor. There are three contactors in an AC are like a contactor for the compressor, a contactor for the condenser fan motor and another for the blower motor and any type of pitting and arcing can cause a major problem for the AC.
B. Some Common Signs That Your AC Is Failing
It is obvious that the best way to spot issues with your AC is to have it properly maintained. During maintenance, a trained AC/HVAC technician spots the problems before they become costly and to prevent your AC from replacement.
But in between the maintenance and if you are not on a maintenance plan, you can point out some common signs to watch for. Let’s have a look at these common problematic signs related to your AC.
1. Constant Running
This is quite difficult in summer days to access in India because of the continuous running of your AC. But if you will watch carefully and will notice a change in how it used to run like running for a long period or not shutting off, there must be a problem with your AC. It may happen that if you might not notice the constant running until you get the electric bill.
2. Blowing Warm Air
This is the sign you can easily notice and can’t ignore. In hottest days, when the warm air comes out from the vent it becomes a nightmare to struggle with and you must be confirmed that there is a problem with the compressor or freon may be low. There is also a chance of leakage in the coils or some other problems which a technician can find out.
3. Making Abnormal Noises
Other than the Inverter ACs, all other air conditioners make some common noises when the compressor starts the action and as well as the outdoor unit also. But when your AC unit shudders or makes some strange bumps and clangs instead of the regular noise, you must sure that it is the time to contact the technician. But you can inspect the unit for any branches or twigs that couldn’t lodge inside before calling the technician.
4. Slow Blowing
Reduction in airflow is another sign that your AC has a problem. It may be an indication of the error in your compressor. There may also a problem with your ductwork if you notice only one area or one room is problematic and it generally happens with central AC. In such situations, it is time to contact the technician.
Although there are a number of factors related to creating problems in your AC the only solution is to go for annual maintenance to get rid of all the problems. There are some common problems we have mentioned above which can be solved by you. But it becomes an expensive matter when to deal with the major problems. Therefore, it is best to keep your AC up to date before the summer arrives.