The last thing any homeowner wants to deal with an air conditioner suddenly breaking down in the worst heat of summer. However, there are often quite a few symptoms that the informed homeowner can identify before the system breaks down. If you can accurately diagnose the problem and apply the correct solution, then you can save hundreds of dollars on AC repair and your sanity during the hottest parts of the year.
To help you get started, here are nine of the most common air conditioner problems and how you should deal with them.
1. The air conditioner isn’t running at all
If your air conditioner won’t even turn on, then it can be easy to jump to the worst-case scenario and guess that it’s totally busted. However, the real problem may be much, much simpler to fix: the thermostat.
If there’s a problem with the thermostat and it either isn’t reading the temperature correctly or isn’t properly communicating with the air conditioner, then it may simply not be giving the air conditioner the signal to turn on. In some cases, this can be a matter of fixing faulty wiring, blown fuses, or tripped breakers. However, it may ultimately require replacing the thermostat in question.
2. The air conditioner is running, but no air is coming out
If you know that the air conditioner does have power and is trying to cool your house, but no cold air is coming out, then the problem might be with the air conditioner fan. It doesn’t matter how much air your AC cools if none of it gets distributed adequately through your ventilation system.
In case you’re lucky, this can be fixed with as little as resetting a tripped breaker. Replacing a relatively inexpensive component like the thermostat may be necessary, as well. In the worst-case scenario, the fan of the air conditioner itself may be damaged, necessitating relatively expensive repairs or even a complete replacement of your AC.
3. Output air is room temperature
If you can feel air coming out of your vents or air conditioner, but it doesn’t seem to be any cooler than room temperature, there are a lot of possible problems. There are many steps in the air conditioning process, and a problem at any of them could be responsible for your current predicament.
You may have an air filter in need of cleaning, not enough refrigerant, a blocked condensate drain, or too much ice on the coils of your AC. Many of these require you to take a look inside the air conditioner, so if you’re not comfortable with doing that, calling in a professional may be the best option.
It’s important to note that the air pushed by the AC outside your home is going to be warm, no matter what. It’s a natural product of the cooling process, so if you go outside and feel a ton of hot air coming out of the AC, everything is going according to plan.
4. Output air is hot
If the air being blown into your home feels particularly hot, then there are a couple of common culprits. To start with, the filter may need some long-overdue cleaning. When too much debris accumulates in the filter, that can build up a considerable amount of heat, which then gets blown into your house, counteracting the cooling process.
Second, your AC may simply be running low on freon. Adding more is a relatively simple process and can be completed with materials bought at most home improvement stores.
5. The air conditioner is leaking
If turning on your AC leads to a fluid buildup either inside or outside your home, then there’s no need to panic quite yet. It may just be condensation that naturally builds up and gets drained off. However, if the fluid buildup is significant, then there may be a leak or blockage in the drain pipes.
When left alone, such leaks can lead to significant water damage and mold buildup, which is double dangerous, considering how close your air conditioner is to your ventilation system. If mold spores are blown throughout your home, it can lead to serious respiratory issues and widespread mold that will be difficult to get rid of.
6. Air conditioner doesn’t turn off
When your air conditioner absolutely never turns off, even when you have it running continuously to deal with endless heat, then you have a problem. Air conditioners are generally designed to take a break every once in a while, even when the house isn’t quite down to temperature. “A failure to do so can lead to serious overheating and damage in the air conditioner,” according to Absolute Air Conditioning Repair.
If you’re lucky, solving this may be as simple as resetting the thermostat, either by turning it on and off or adjusting the temperature high enough that it wouldn’t require the AC to run. If you’re unlucky, you may need to get work done on the AC fan.
7. The air conditioner keeps turning on and off
Air conditioners are meant to turn on and off, both in order to maintain your chosen temperature and to prevent overheating in the air conditioner itself. However, if they turn on and off too often, then there could be a mechanical problem at work. If the condenser or evaporator is in need of maintenance, then they could be responsible.
8. House is unevenly cooled
If your air conditioner is working in some parts of your house but not others, then the problem likely lies with your ventilation rather than the AC itself. If you’re getting cold air in parts of your house, then the AC is doing its job, the problem just lies in the distribution system. Blockages in your vents can make it all but impossible for cold air to reach the rooms that need it the most.
9. Air conditioner smells
An odd smell coming from your air conditioner is one of the most pressing problems you can have. While air conditioners normally do smell a bit from the refrigerant and heat, you may also be able to smell an electrical burn that could turn into a fire or permanent and expensive damage. If the smell seems to be more organic in nature, then an animal could have found its way in there and died. Needless to say, such an animal should be removed as soon as possible in order to prevent the smell from being blasted throughout your entire house.
So, what should you do?
If you suspect that you have a problem, then it may be time to call AC repair professionals. Some problems can be dealt with on your own, but you may not even be able to identify the correct problem in the first place. Tinkering around with an air conditioning unit without the proper experience and tools can lead to you permanently damaging the air conditioner at best or serious injuries at worst.
Article Submitted By Community Writer