Best Tips For Fixing Air Conditioner Problems
If you live in a hotter part of the planet, Air Conditioners are essential; it would be like living in an oven without one! On the flipside, they have made living in some of the less habitable places on earth possible, even comfortable. Taking good care of them is important, just as knowing roughly what’s gone wrong when something does go wrong, as well as determining whether you need an expert to fix it.
Not turning on
Unless the circuit breaker has been tripped, the most likely cause of your AC not turning on is the thermostat. It is no longer communicating with the central air system. It is, therefore, necessary to install a new thermostat, preferably a programmable one, and learn how to use it. These days you can even get ones that connect to your tablet or smartphone. Online tutorials are plentiful, although you might want to call out a qualified HVAC engineer (HVAC = Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Engineering).
An AC unit that does not cool is not cool! It could be that the compressor is not working properly. This is a motor that compresses the coolant, circulating it around the evaporator and condenser coils. Search for a picture online if this sounds confusing. This cooling cycle needs to start up every time you switch on your machine; if it doesn’t then it’s useless. Signing up for a regular maintenance contract is worth its weight in gold. Relatively inexpensive monthly payments are less painful than a whopping great bill if or when things go wrong.
Blown a fuse
A tell-tale sign of this is a humming noise because the furnace is trying to get the AC to run but without success. A fuse is a relatively minor problem, and you should be able to replace it yourself. The internet is your best friend; it will have plenty of videos that you can pause and un-pause so that you can see it being done by someone who knows.
Another minor problem is a dirty filter. Actually, this can end up causing a blown fuse due to the excess pressure required for the machine to push air through a clogged or dirty filter. The electrical system consequently will blow a fuse in order to protect itself. Replacing the air filter on a semi-regular basis can prevent this. It may also prevent damage to coils, discussed below. You should think about replacing the filter monthly, if it is a standard one, although the more expensive pleated filters can last for up to six months.
Also known as coolant, this substance is the lifeblood of your AC unit; it can, however, leak occasionally, leaving you with a bit of a problem. This is one for a qualified HVAC engineer, who will expertly locate the holes in the lines. How much better to sign up to some sort of contract which will often include a range of free replacements and options, depending on which one you go for.
Evaporator coils actually require warm air to circulate around them so as to enable their refrigerant to do their job. They absorb heat from the air and so don’t work if they become too cold. Ensure that your AC unit is positioned correctly. If it is a window or portable air conditioner (WAC) be very careful to follow all the correct maintenance guidelines, and do not use your AC in cold, wintry months.
Condenser coils can become blocked with dirt and this stops them from expelling the hot air from your room, thus making your AC less effective. Eventually it puts more pressure on your machine’s parts and can lead to system failure. Ensure that all manner of dirt; leaves, trash, foliage, is removed from the outdoor units; use a soft brush if necessary.
There are two fans in your AC unit; one to blow indoor air across the evaporator coil so it can cool the air; another to blow air on the outdoor unit’s condenser so that it gets rid of the absorbed heat, sending it out of the room. Perhaps due to a problem with the motor, a lack of lubrication, worn belts or clogging debris, airflow can become impeded. Get your machine checked out by a qualified engineer asap; this isn’t one to try and do yourself.
The ducts are the things that carry the cooled air into your indoor living area. Holes can emerge over time, due to rodents, workmen, or just age. This will result in cooled air being wasted inside your wall cavities rather than spread into your living area. Inspect ducts every few years, and seek to repair holes yourself. Foil tape should be fine; no need for an expert if you can get hold of some.
Thermostats, especially if the older, traditional models, might need to be recalibrated. You can usually use the manual to help you do this. You can also replace the thermostat, and by following all the relevant instructions should be able to DIY.
Finally, portable air conditioner maintenance can be affected by something as simple as correct storage, especially during those colder months when you’re not actively using it all the time. Make sure you pack it in a proper, dry place and keep it away from direct sunlight or excessive cold. If you own a window air conditioner or a through wall air conditioner you can stop rainwater from damaging it by covering it with a fitted cover or plastic sheet. Some manufacturers advise leaving it uncovered so that moisture can evaporate naturally. You can also seal any gaps within your home by using weather seal, cut into strips with scissors.
More recently, smart air conditioners have come to market. These can be controlled remotely and can be a part of your smart home system. You can program your shades, lights, and AC. Reversible air conditioners can also work as smart air conditioners; one advantage of this is not having to worry so much about storage and maintenance because it is working all the time.