5 Common Air Conditioner Problems You May Encounter This Summer
Unfortunately, even when you typically stay on top of your air conditioner’s regular maintenance requirements, little issues can still occur when the system is in the most demand. Reviewing these five common air conditioner problems could help you better gauge when to call for emergency repairs over the summer.
AC won’t turn on
Few things are as frustrating as coming home to a stuffy house on a hot summer day. Luckily, this is often a quick fix to get your air conditioner working again. The issue is usually that the thermostat was set improperly or simply isn’t working. If revisiting your thermostat settings doesn’t help, it may be time to replace your thermostat altogether.
Before you buy a new thermostat, remember to check your breaker box. It’s always possible that the air conditioner’s breaker was flipped even when everything else in your home appears to be working fine.
AC isn’t cooling like it used to
A running air conditioner that can’t adequately cool your home is usually indicative of an airflow problem. The first place to start troubleshooting this one is at the return. When was the last time you changed your filters? If it’s been a while, a clogged filter could be in the way of the air that’s trying to get back to the unit. When everything looks good inside the house, it’s time to check the unit outside. To function optimally, your unit needs two feet of clearance all around. If you’ve got branches or debris closer than that, it could be obstructing airflow.
If airflow isn’t the issue, it may be necessary to call a professional to check your refrigerant lines.
AC makes noise
If your air conditioner makes strange noises every time it starts up or winds down, it can be a frustrating experience even if everything is otherwise working fine. Often, this is nothing more troublesome than a loose screw. Once it’s tightened, the noise will vanish. However, this could also be a sign of blower issues.
Since dealing with the high voltage of your air conditioning unit can be dangerous, it’s best to call in a professional. If you must troubleshoot it yourself, always remember to shut off the power to your air conditioner prior to touching the components.
AC costs too much to run
An improperly maintained air conditioner can lose 5% efficiency each year, skyrocketing your energy costs over time. The best way to deal with the all too common issue of high summer cooling bills is to have your system serviced prior to the onset of the hot weather.
AC stays on too long/not long enough
The placement of your thermostat can ultimately determine how long your air conditioner runs over the summer. If the thermostat is in direct sunlight, it may continue running even after the rest of your home is an igloo. Changing the location of your thermostat can be a cost-effective way to improve the overall efficiency of your AC by only forcing it to run when it’s actually necessary. If you still have an older model of thermostat, using this opportunity to install a programmable thermostat can help you save even more money on cooling costs.