How To Spot AC Repair Problems

A properly functioning air conditioning system will save you money on electricity bills. However, an inefficient AC unit can end up costing you more than it should.

There are many reasons your AC may not be functioning properly. Fortunately, most of them are minor problems with easy fixes. A knowledgeable All Temp Air Conditioning & Refrigeration technician will be able to determine these issues. He can fix them quickly, prolonging the life of your system.

Check The Thermostat

The thermostat is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. It regulates your AC’s functionality and can be the first sign of a problem. It’s important to check your thermostat regularly and to compare the temperature it reads to the air temperatures in your home.

If the thermostat’s reading does not match the temperature in your house, the thermostat may need to be replaced. This could be due to a broken internal sensor or a defective thermostat unit itself. If the unit is located in an area that’s exposed to direct sunlight, near other heat sources, or cold drafts, it can also cause it to have trouble regulating.

You can also try to reset your thermostat by flipping the circuit breaker that controls it off and then on again. This will force the unit to reset and often improve performance. However, if you’re finding yourself constantly having to reset your thermostat, it’s probably time to call for professional help.

Another common issue is a malfunctioning fan motor. If the fan motor stops working, it can be very difficult to get your system up and running again. You can try turning the power off and on again, but if this doesn’t work, you will likely need to replace it.

Lastly, you can also try cleaning the unit. It’s easy for dust and debris to collect inside the cover, especially if the unit has been sitting for a while. A simple vacuum with canned compressed air can go a long way toward improving your thermostat’s performance and efficiency. Make sure to remove any obstructions from the vents as well. Furniture, toys, and drapes can get into the path of the return and supply vents, preventing proper airflow.

Check The Condenser

If your air conditioner isn’t cooling, there could be a problem with the condenser. This is usually a sign of a clogged evaporator drain line, which can be caused by a build-up of algae or mold. The drain line is typically an inch-wide PVC pipe that either runs to a sink or utility drain, depending on your unit. If your drain line is clogged, you can remove the debris using a wet or dry vacuum cleaner. You can also pour a mixture of water and distilled vinegar through the line to help unclog it and kill any bacteria.

Another problem that could be causing your AC to run continuously or not keep up with cooling needs is low refrigerant levels. If this is the case, you’ll need to call a professional for AC repair services.

An insufficient supply of refrigerant is one of the top reasons for a system to fail. In most cases, you can replenish this without the assistance of a professional, although some units may need an entire compressor replacement.

The fan belt is another important part of your air conditioning system. It’s essential to check and replace the belt every year. If you notice that it’s wearing out, or hear a high-pitched screech, this could be a sign that it’s time for an AC replacement.

You should also inspect your refrigerant tubes, which are usually a bright green color and located in the exterior condenser/compressor and your air handler. These are what transports the refrigerant from the compressor to the air handler. If these tubes are leaking, you’ll need a professional for AC repairs as soon as possible. In addition to being dangerous, a leak in your AC can cause the system to stop working entirely.

Check The Filters

The air filter on your AC system is designed to trap dust, debris, and other contaminants before they can enter the blower and circulate through your home. If it’s clogged with contaminants, it will restrict airflow and force the blower to work harder. This will shorten the lifespan of your system and increase your energy bills. Checking the air filter should be a regular part of your maintenance routine. A clean filter will allow the cool air to circulate properly, keeping your house comfortable and your utility bills lower.

Changing the air filter is simple, and it can be done before you call for AC repair services. You’ll need to locate the filter enclosure on your indoor AC unit, usually located where the large fresh air return duct meets it. Open the door to the enclosure and remove the old filter. Replace it with a new one, being careful to match the directional airflow arrows on the filter with those on the enclosure door.

You should also be sure to use the right size of filter for your system. An AC repair service technician will be able to advise you on the appropriate size for your home. Using too small of a filter will restrict airflow and may lead to more problems. Using too large of a filter will reduce the efficiency of your system, as it will have to work harder to move air through the system.

While you’re checking the filters, you should also take the time to make sure the ductwork is free of leaks. You can test this by holding a stick of incense near the duct connections; if smoke blows around, you leak. You can seal these leaks with foil tape or duct mastic, depending on the type of ductwork in your home.

Check The Electrical Connections

If you suspect that your AC has wiring problems, shut off the power to your unit at the main electrical panel. This prevents you from accidentally electrocuting yourself or starting an electrical fire. It’s also a good idea to consult your unit’s manual for information on its specific wiring layout before you touch anything. If you’re uncomfortable working on electrical wiring, call a professional AC tech.

When an air conditioner is turned on but it still doesn’t cool your home, the problem may be as simple as a blown fuse or a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. In either case, you can try flipping the breaker or replacing the fuse on your own, but it’s always best to contact a qualified HVAC technician or electrician to do the work.

A professional will inspect the wires to see if there’s any damage or corrosion that needs to be repaired. Then they’ll replace any faulty wires with high-quality wiring to ensure that the air conditioning system operates properly.

Attempting to repair or replace wires in an AC without any experience can be extremely dangerous. There’s a lot of electricity running through those wires and any mistake can be catastrophic, leading to injuries or even death. When you hire a professional, you can rest assured that the job will be done safely and correctly. Then you can enjoy the comfort of a well-functioning AC.

Check The Compressor

If your AC is making noises or vibrations, it could indicate mechanical issues within the compressor. These can often be caused by imbalances and loose components. Listen closely to hear whether the sounds are rattling, squealing, or grinding. A professional technician can help diagnose these issues and determine if it is necessary to replace the compressor.

The first thing that an HVAC contractor will do is check the electrical connections to the compressor. These should be tight, free of corrosion, and correctly connected. The contractor may also want to test the continuity of the clutch coil. This can be done by connecting one lead of the multimeter to the positive terminal of the compressor’s clutch connector and the other lead to a good ground. The multimeter should display low resistance if the clutch coil is functioning properly.

Next, the HVAC contractor will inspect the compressor for any signs of physical damage. This can include dents, cracks, and oil stains. In addition, the HVAC contractor will inspect the compressor for signs of internal mechanical issues, such as imbalances or loose components.

After the HVAC contractor checks the electrical connections and the compressor for any signs of damage, they will run a voltage test on the compressor’s contactor. To do this, they will disconnect the compressor relay or fuse from the fuse box and remove the compressor wires from the compressor contactor. Then, the HVAC contractor will connect a multimeter to the power and ground wires of the compressor and set it to the Rx 1 scale. They will then ohm out the compressor’s windings, starting with common to run and moving on to start to common and then to run to common.