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How To Diagnose Air Conditioner Problems

Air Conditioning and Cooling
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Air conditioner problems can occur at the worst possible time, in other words, right in the middle of a heat wave. No one likes to have an air conditioner fail without warning at a time like that, so it’s important to be familiar with the signs of common air conditioner problems, in order that you can address them before they cause a system failure.

Some common air conditioner problems

  • Improper size or installation. A common problem is people install an air conditioner that is the wrong size for the room it’s meant to cool. Make sure each air conditioner you install has the proper BTU rating to cool the space where you’re putting it. Also, it’s critical to make sure your central air conditioning system is installed properly, or it will cause leaking ducts and poor air flow.
  • Low refrigerant levels. This is caused by undercharging the unit during installation, or because the air conditioner leaks. If the unit is leaking, adding refrigerant will not solve the problem. A technician can fix any leaks and recharge the unit correctly. Either undercharging or overcharging affects the performance of the air conditioner, so this is an important issue.
  • Noise. Loud noises in an air conditioner are usually caused by the fan belt, which can be dislodged sometimes during use. The solution is to replace or restore the belt to the right position. A technician can also check the bearings and lubricate them if necessary.
  • Odor. A bad smell can be an indicator of ac problems. This is because air conditioners accumulate a lot of moisture, and that can lead to molds, fungi, and mildew if the water does not evaporate quickly enough. A bad smell can be a sign that your unit needs a maintenance checkup, which would include changing the filter.
  • Thermostat. Air conditioners all have a thermostat to measure the temperature of air entering the evaporative coil. If the sensor is out of position or just not working properly, the air conditioner may run constantly, or otherwise behave erratically.
  • Electrical probems. If the air conditioner turns on and off frequently, various electrical controls, including the compressor, can overheat and wear out. A technician should check all electrical components during each service visit.
  • Frozen coils or poor drainage. Ice can build up in an air conditioner, causing the coils to freeze. This prevents freon and air from circulating, blocking the unit's operation. Also, the condensate drain can get clogged, which will result in diminished performance of the unit and damage to internal components.

These common air conditioner problems can be avoided by scheduling regular maintenance checkups. An air conditioner service technician will know how to deal with these problems early enough that you won’t experience a breakdown just when you need air conditioning the most.

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