When it comes to air conditioning problems, the technicians at Brown have basically seen it all. They work on so many different types of systems that very little surprises them anymore. But for homeowners, any time the air conditioner stops working as it should is a moment for panic. We’re here to put your fears to rest – if your air conditioner is on the fritz, there is a pretty good chance that it’s because of one of these 10 common issues.
Sometimes, things just aren’t right with the wiring of the system. Maybe there is a loose wire going to the thermostat, or perhaps there is a wire that has been worn down in some way, leaving it exposed. We have even seen cases where an animal chewed through a wire. Whatever the cause, wiring problems can put your system out of order.
If the refrigerant in your condenser is low, there is a very good chance that it is from a leak. Without the proper level of refrigerant, the air in your home won’t be as cool as it should be, making for an unhappy homeowner. A professional needs to come out to refill the coolant and make sure the leak is identified and fixed for good.
We see this one all the time – so often, in fact, that we wrote a whole blog post on why this happens. Long story short, if something is interfering with the heat transfer from the air to the evaporation coils, it can cause those coils to freeze, shutting down your system. There are a few problems that can cause frozen coils, which we cover in the blog linked above. If you check your filters and drain and still have problems, it’s time to call in a pro.
This happens all the time – we get to a home with a client who tells us that the air conditioner just isn’t running at all, and it looks like there is no power going to the system. The very first thing we will check are the fuses, and a lot of times that is the culprit. This one definitely doesn’t require a pro, unless you replace the fuse and there is still a problem.
We talk about clogged filters a lot on the blog, mainly because it is one of the easiest ways to maintain the health of your system and prevent major problems. If your air conditioning system seems to be running more than usual, or you notice an increase in your electricity bill that may be caused by your air conditioner working harder than it should, check your filters. And for more information on proper filter maintenance, this post will help.
Another item to check immediately if your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be working properly – make sure the thermostat is set to “cool.” Sometimes, settings are accidentally changed, leading to homeowners thinking there is a larger issue with the system. If the system is set to cool and you are still not getting cool air coming out, double-check the temperature setting. If that looks good, then there may be a bigger issue at play.
Any clogs in an air conditioner can lead to problems, so when the drain on the outdoor unit is blocked, it prevents the system from working as it should. The symptoms of a clogged drain are similar to those of a clogged air filter, and can also include the system freezing. Luckily, this one is usually an easy fix.
Dirty Condenser Coil
Like the drain, the condenser coil is located outside your home, which means it is potentially exposed to any dirt or debris that works its way into the condenser unit. If the coils are dirty, heat transfer won’t take place properly, leading to a system that doesn’t work the way that it should.
This one will definitely require a technician to assess and fix, but it is a common problem, especially in air conditioners that are older and have seen a lot of use. Within the system, there are a number of contactors that let the air conditioner know to move on to the next phase of the cooling process. When these contactors get worn out (usually just due to normal wear and tear), they can prevent the system from running the way that it should. A pro knows where to find the contactors, and will likely have the supplies on hand to fix the problem.
If your air conditioner suddenly starts making odd noises, like rattling, thumping, or high-pitched squealing, it’s very likely an issue with the blower. A technician should come out to identify the problem, as it could be a part that is wearing out or has worked its way loose. If you hear a sound like a card smacking spokes in a wheel, it’s likely something caught in the blower fan – homeowners should be able to check the outside unit and remove any debris that is stuck.