Air conditioners are complex pieces of engineering that get have a number of moving parts and get both extremely hot and cold in different areas of the machine. Without regular maintenance, it is inevitable that air conditioning units will have problems and ultimately failures. Here are some of the most common air conditioner problems and what you can do to avoid them.
Air Conditioner unit doesn't switch on
If this is the first time you're turning your air conditioner on for the summer, then the first thing to do is make sure that it is plugged in and the power is on. It's an easy mistake to make after having the unit turned off for a few months.
The next question is the quality of the power source that the AC unit is connected to. Air conditioner units draw a lot of power so require a good power source that is not overloaded with other connected devices. If the line is okay there might be a tripped circuit breaker or even a fuse could be blown. Check your circuit breaker for any blown fuses or tripped safety switches. If your air conditioner is connected through a power board also check the power board's own overload switch, usually located on one end of the board.
If it’s the first time you've turned on the AC for the season, there might be a broken thermostat. Lower the temperature of the unit to the lowest temperature to see if it turns on, if not then you will need professional help.
You might also need professional help if your air conditioning unit is exposed to excessive wildlife (vegetation) as the grasses and leaves could have been sucked into the unit and caused damage.
The machine turns on but doesn't cool adequately
Another common problem with air conditioners is when you turn the unit on the air conditioner does blow air, but the air is warm or at room temperature.
For split system air conditioners, this could be a problem with the condenser unit. The, if the condenser unit is not working correctly the head unit inside the house, will still blow air, but the air will not be getting cooled by the air conditioner.
Sometimes the condenser is still mechanically fine, but there is a refrigerant leak and the condenser unit is low on gas. If the unit is likely low on gas then you will need to consult a professional. An air conditioning technician will do a test for leaks, repair the leaks and then refill the unit with new gas.
If the condenser is dirty this can inhibit the units ability to blow air through the radiator and cool the refrigerant gas, decreasing the units ability to cool. You can try to clean it yourself but if you are not familiar with electrical devices, it’s better to leave it to the experts.
Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air
One reason for this is if the filters are dirty. The AC unit itself is fine, but the cold air cannot get through the ductwork and becomes warm. Another reason can be depleted refrigerant. If you believe your gas might be low and may require a refill, consulting professional technicians is advised.
Frozen Air Conditioner
A number of different factors may cause this. The most common is having inadequate airflow which is usually caused by dirty filters. The aircon coils should also be kept neat and clean. If the fan is not functioning properly the cold air can remain inside and freeze the coil. From the outside, the unit will be running while the inside will be frozen. The filters can be changed at home if you know how to do it, however, electrical parts should only be replaced by expert technicians.
Regular check-ups on your Air Conditioning unit will most likely prevent almost all common problems. Even if there is no problem now, a minor problem might be building up inside your unit which will cost you a lot more than the regular check-up fees. Regular preventative maintenance is recommended to increase the life of your unit, reduce your utility bills and avoid costly breakdowns.