5 Common Air Conditioning Problems

Common central air conditioning problems can result from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and inadequate maintenance. Improper installation of a central air conditioner can result in leaky ducts and low airflow. Many times, the refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant in the system) does not match the manufacturer’s specifications. If proper refrigerant charging is not performed during installation, the performance and efficiency of the unit is impaired. Unqualified service technicians may fail to find refrigerant charging problems and can even worsen existing problems by adding refrigerant to a system that is already full.

Air conditioner manufacturers generally make rugged, high-quality products that last for years. If your central air conditioner fails, begin by checking any fuses or circuit breakers. Let the unit cool down for about five minutes before resetting any breakers. If a central air conditioner’s compressor stops on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped and you may be able to reset it by pushing the button, located in the compressor’s access panel.

Here is a list of five common air conditioning problems that have the potential to turn into major problems if left unchecked. Your best bet is to prevent problems before they happen. Save money over the long run by getting an annual check-up to make sure your air conditioning system always works at peak performance.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, either it was undercharged at the time of installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution. A trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Remember that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification, and it is neither undercharged nor overcharged. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment.

Inadequate Maintenance

If you allow filters and air conditioning coils to become dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely.

Electric Control Failure

Your compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently, as is common when a system is oversized. Because corrosion of wire and terminals is also a problem in many systems, electrical connections and contacts should be checked during a professional service call.

Sensor Problems

Room air conditioners feature a thermostat sensor, located behind the control panel, which measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it; you can adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

Drainage Problems

When it’s humid outside, check the condensate drain to make sure it isn’t clogged and is draining properly. Your Pensacola Heating and Air technician will check to confirm your air conditioner is mounted level and draining properly.

[Source: energy.gov]


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