It can be frustrating to flip your air conditioner on for the season, only to find it sounding like a freight train, or barely pumping cool air out at all. The months of being in hibernation haven’t been good for the system, and the noises and smells make that difficult to ignore.
The most natural reaction is a feeling of dread, knowing full well you’ll be writing a very large check in the near future. Repairs and replacement are days away – or at least that’s the thought that instantly comes to mind.
Is that what it really means? Here are 5 common problems and how to troubleshoot them before the days get hotter.
Sometimes this can be as easy as checking your thermostat. We find a lot of our service calls this time of year result in replacing batteries in thermostats, or simply flipping the switch from off to on. If you’ve tried that, you can also check your circuit breaker to ensure it didn’t flip to the off position over the winter months. Once you’ve checked both of these, it’s time to call in a technician.
This usually has little to do with your air conditioner, and has more to do with your ducts and insulation. If you can, check to ensure your ductwork is intact, that joints are still properly sealed, and vents aren’t clogged. You can also do a spot check in your attic and ensure your insulation hasn’t been disturbed. We can also help by performing an energy audit to find out where problems are.
Maybe it turns off too early. Maybe it runs all the time, yet you still feel warm and clammy. Have you checked the air filter this season? That’s the best place to start. You can also do a visual check of your air conditioning unit to ensure landscaping, dirt and debris haven’t piled up around it.
Drips and leaks can cause a lot of damage. It can clog lines, impact filters, or signal a crack in the water line somewhere within the system. You can visually check the unit around the base and see if you can find the problem. More than likely you’ll have to call in a technician to dig deeper to find the origin.
When coils freeze up, it’s typically caused by low levels of refrigerant or low airflow. The air filter should be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. You can also determine if airflow is being restricted by putting a hand up to every vent in your home. Does one feel lower than another? That can be a signal your ductwork has a problem. If you can see ice forming on the coils of the AC unit, turning off the unit and allowing it to thaw can be a step in the right direction. Keep a careful eye on it, and call in a technician to ensure everything is in good working order. It may be a small problem that’s easy to fix. However, if you let it grow, it can break down your entire air conditioning unit, and cause early replacement before its time.
Have additional questions about your air conditioner?