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The Most Common Air Conditioning Problems

Air conditioning units, like most other electrical appliances, can be prone to niggling problems and failure. Sometimes these problems crop up at the most inopportune time and you’re in desperate need of a quick fix.

This guide will help you identify some of the most common problems with your air conditioning unit, and hopefully give you some advice on how to fix them yourself.

Your air conditioning unit isn’t running

The most easily identifiable problem with an air conditioning unit. Sometimes it won’t even start up. This could be for a number of reasons, including: lack of electricity to the unit, a faulty thermostat or a faulty motor or compressor.

A lack of electricity to the unit could be due to a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Check the unit is plugged in, then check your main fuse panel and determine whether your fuse for the unit has blown or circuit breaker tripped. Either replace a blown fuse or reset the circuit breaker.

An improperly set thermostat will mean the unit will not come on so try setting the thermostat to a few degrees below room temperature. If the unit still refuses to activate, the thermostat could be defective. Be aware that some systems come with a built-in timer which delays activation of the unit.

A faulty motor or compressor will likely need the expertise of a trained professional.

Your air conditioning unit is blowing out warm air

This could be caused by a number of issues. The system is producing cold air but sometimes it can’t flow properly. This could be due to dirty or clogged filters. Clean filters will protect your unit and ensure efficient performance, so check to see if you can identify any clogged or dirty filters, and give them a thorough clean if you do.

Clogged filters might also be responsible for freezing inside your unit. This also occurs if the fan itself is broken. Cold air will remain inside the unit, instead of being properly filtered through, and could lead to frozen coils. Cleaning the fans or the filters could resolve the problem, but if any electrical components need replacing then a repair technician will be needed.

Warm air could also be a sign of a lack of refrigerant. Refrigerant is the chemical that keeps the air inside your air conditioning unit cool. If your unit is suffering from a lack of refrigerant it could signify a leak in the refrigeration system. Repairing a faulty refrigeration system or a refrigerant leak will require the help of a professional.

Your air conditioning unit frequently shuts off

This could be a sign of a dirty or clogged condenser unit or evaporator. A thorough cleaning could work wonders here, and is something you can perform yourself.

There could also be an issue with the size of the unit compared to the size of your home. If the unit is too large for the space you are trying to cool, then your unit will frequently shut itself off and on. The unit will reach the indicated setting on your thermostat and tell the system to shut down. The temperature of the room will quickly rise again and the unit will turn itself back on until its setting is reached again. This will continue to happen.

Conversely, if the unit is too small for your room, the unit might continuously run. Leaving any electrical equipment on for an extended period of time could cause harm to the system itself, especially if the system is continuously cycling and struggling to meet requirements. It is important to know what size unit will satisfy your needs. Thinking of this before installation could prevent problems in the future and will also help you save money and energy you might otherwise be wasting.

Your air conditioning unit isn’t draining properly

Your unit is fitted with a drain pan, designed to collect water in case of a clogged drain line. This problem can occur for a few reasons. Humid conditions inside the pipes and coils of an air conditioning unit are a prime breeding ground for mould and algae. If not maintained over time, this can build up leading to a completely clogged pipe. Water will then pool into the drain pan. Left untreated, this could cause serious mechanical damage to your unit, as well as potentially causing problems with water damage inside the house.

Fixing a clogged drain is something you can do yourself. First you need to remove the water from the pan, achieved simply by using a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. Now check the pipes. If you can see an obstruction in the pipe, blowing condensed air into the pipe could help unclog it. You can also try clearing the clog with a small wire brush. Once the blockage is removed, pour a cup of bleach into the pipe to stave off any additional algae or mould that might still be present in the pipe.

Your unit will likely need maintenance at some point during its lifetime so it is useful to know some of the most common problems and potential solutions. However, sometimes you just need to call in the professionals.

Conditioned Environment have been repairing air conditioning units for 45 years. Our vast array of skilled professionals will give reliable, dedicated support for any system, so don’t wait to get in touch.

Conditioned Environment have been servicing air conditioning units for 45 years. Our vast array of skilled professionals will give reliable, dedicated support for any system, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.