Air conditioners have become indispensable, especially in extreme summer temperatures. A broken air conditioner can cause discomfort and a high repair cost.
Failure of an air conditioner can be a result of several issues. The more you know about the issues, the more easily you can identify potential problems and fix them.
The following are three prevalent AC problems.
1. Dirty Air Filters
The filter is arguably the most ignored part of the HVAC system. A clogged air filter restricts airflow into the system, decreasing its efficiency. Air filters affect the functionality of AC systems; therefore, you should clean or replace them regularly.
For a central AC system, check the manufacturer’s manual for a recommendation on when to swap in a new filter. However, whichever AC system you have, keep in mind that you’ll often have to install filters more if you have pets at home.
A clogged air filter may result in the following:
- Overheating: When the filter has a clog, your AC has to ramp up its operations to keep your room cool. As a result, the AC overheats.
- High energy usage: If the AC has to work harder than it usually does, it will draw in more energy than usual. Eventually, you will realize an increase in your utility bill.
- Uncomfortable temperatures: Clogged filters restrict air flow, so the cooling may not be adequate. Your room may still be warm despite the AC overworking.
Fortunately, cleaning out or replacing air filters is a one-person job. Simply take the filters out and clean them thoroughly by running them through warm water. Alternatively, put in a new filter where the old one was.
2. Refrigerant Leak
The refrigerant, also known as the coolant, is a chemical compound in air-cooled HVAC systems. Your AC uses refrigerant to remove heat and humidity from the air.
A refrigerant leak severely hampers the cooling ability of your AC. A leak is difficult to diagnose.
Signs like a sudden spike in your electrical bill may point to a refrigerant leak. If you hear a hissing sound from your AC, holes in the AC coils may have caused the refrigerant to escape. If the hole is large, your AC will produce a gurgling sound.
Many factors can cause the refrigerant to leak, including:
- Corrosion: The copper tube walls inside the indoor coil can become corroded. Once eroded, holes and cracks may form on the tubes, causing the refrigerant to leak.
- Wear and tear: Over time, your HVAC unit ages, and components will naturally break down. If your AC unit has surpassed the decade mark, you may notice more refrigerant leaks.
- Improper installation: Your AC may also leak because your technician installed the unit poorly. Fitting parts incorrectly may allow coolant gas or liquid to escape.
Unfortunately, fixing a leak is not just a matter of refilling the refrigerant. The process can be time-consuming and expensive. If you notice any sign of a leak, call a HVAC repair professional.
3. Loud AC
Modern AC units use sound-dampening technology to keep the sounds at a manageable level. Ideally, you want to feel your AC working but not hear it. An AC that makes extremely loud and unfamiliar sounds can be annoying. The sounds could also mean that you have an underlying problem that needs attention.
Different AC problems can cause the same type of noise. So know the various noises to help you understand what’s wrong. Ignoring the AC noises can escalate a minor problem to a major expense.
Banging noises usually indicate that your AC has experienced wear and tear over time. A compressor issue may be the source of the aggressive banging noise.
If you hear a clanking sound, this could mean a broken or loose part. On most occasions, this could mean that the outdoor fan is out of balance and hitting other parts.
If you hear any unusual sounds from your HVAC unit, call a professional to fasten or replace the broken or loose parts of your system.
Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent the most common problems from occurring at all. To schedule AC maintenance or installation, contact us today.