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5 Most Common AC Problems

Posted by Michelle Eld on

Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, we know how much you’re depending on your air conditioner for relief. However, if you are seeing some problems cropping up that could threaten your cool comfort, act fast before you have to live without your AC during repairs. Check out these top five most common AC problems:

User Error

The #1 culprit for AC issues is improper or inefficient use of the unit. There may be nothing technically wrong with the unit but you could be using the system incorrectly. There are ways to maximize its use, such as by closing off all windows, doors and vents to direct the cool flow of air only to rooms you use. By isolating one room or a series of rooms in which you don’t need cooling, you can direct cool air to the main living spaces, says Energy.gov.

No Maintenance

Neglecting maintenance can adversely affect how well your AC works. It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance tasks such as changing out dirty filters, that, when filled with dirt and dust, cause your unit to work inefficiently. By letting small problems go untreated, you are detracting from the AC’s life span and placing undue stress on it. Maintenance neglect, for instance, could cause the compressor or fans to fail prematurely.

Sensor Issues

The unit may be working fine, but the sensors that communicate temperature controls may be on the fritz. Room air conditioners feature thermostat sensors that measure the temperature of air passing by the evaporative coil. When that sensor is moved or knocked out of position, it can cause the unit to act erratically. Make sure the sensor is situated next to the coil but doesn’t touch it.

Refrigerant Leaks

You may see some leaks begin to happen, which can be caused by a unit that was undercharged during installation. If you’re low on refrigerant, don’t just assume you can add some and all will be right. Not so. The underlying problem needs to be addressed by a professional HVAC technician who can make the repair, add refrigerant and test the system. Make sure your refrigerant charge meets the manufacturer’s recommendation for the optimum in cooling power. Leaks can damage your unit, not to mention they’re costly to both your wallet and the environment.

Ice Buildup

You may experience an icy buildup on your air conditioner. This is most commonly due to a dirty filter blocking the flow of air, or even low refrigerant. Check the refrigerant level and replace the filter to get rid of ice buildup on your AC.

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