Common A/C Problems — What to Know and How to Cope
Common A/C problems don’t seem common when it’s your home and its the hottest day of a summer heat wave. Any problem at that time is a special occasion. Today’s air conditioners are built to take heavy usage and breakdowns are less common than ever. Advanced technology and component engineering as well as regularly scheduled maintenance procedures are providing more trouble-free years and longer service life. Nevertheless, when they happen, common A/C problems can usually be quickly diagnosed by an experienced HVAC technician who’s probably seen it all before.
Most fall into a few clearly defined categories:
- Power supply: When your unit’s working overtime, problems in the house electrical circuit may trip a breaker switch or blow a household fuse. Central A/C units also incorporate a safety cut-off for system overloads called a “high limit switch.” This shuts down the unit and requires resetting by an HVAC technician to resume operation. Other electrical components such as compressor start capacitors are also subject to failure.
- Low refrigerant: The system refrigerant conveys compressed heat energy to the outdoor condenser coil. When the refrigerant charge is low, performance and efficiency suffer dramatically and compressor damage can occur. A low refrigerant charge usually indicates a leak somewhere. Your cooling contractor has the equipment to detect the source of leaking refrigerant and make repairs.
- Neglected maintenance: Two items of regular preventive maintenance—air filters and evaporator coils—directly affect system airflow, the most important parameter for efficiency and comfort. Accumulations of dirt in either location reduce the free flow of air. Monthly DIY filter changes and annual coil inspection by an HVAC technician should be part of every maintenance schedule.
- Thermostat issues: Thermostats should be inspected for proper location and calibrated annually to ensure accurate response to actual room temperature and that connections between the thermostat and A/C are intact.
Sobieski Services offers regular maintenance and service to prevent and resolve common A/C problems all summer long. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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