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Air Conditioning Troubleshooting

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Inevitably, air conditioners seem to fail at the most inconvenient times: when it’s hot and you have to wait for the repairmen. While professional repair is usually necessary and recommended to ensure that your air conditioning unit works efficiently and effectively over the long run, there are some issues that can be quickly and easily fixed, enabling you to bypass the long, hot wait. Here are some of the most common AC problems people experience and some tips for air conditioning troubleshooting.

  • The air conditioner isn’t cooling: If the unit is running but your home isn’t cooling as it normally does, the first thing to do is to lower the thermostat five degrees and give it some time to see if this fixes the problem. Keep in mind that if the temperature outside is particularly high, your air conditioner may not be able to achieve your desired internal temperature regardless, particularly if you have a lot of windows bringing in heat. Inadequate air cooling may also be due to a dirty evaporator or dirty or blocked condenser, which unless you know what you are doing should probably be looked at by a certified technician. A faulty compressor may also be the cause, which will definitely require professional repair.
  • The AC unit is blowing warm air: The most common reason that an air conditioning system blows warm air is due to dirty filters. Essentially, in this case the system is producing cold air but that air is not able to flow through the ductwork. So if this issue occurs, the first thing you should do is check the filters. Other easy things to check is whether leaves and other debris are not obstructing the airflow. If everything looks clear, then you will need to wait for a repairperson, as the problem is most likely due to insufficient refrigerant, which only licensed repair technicians are able to replace.
  • The unit shuts on and off repeatedly: In most cases, this problem is caused by a dirty or blocked condenser unit, or a dirty evaporator. Most of the time, having the unit thoroughly cleaned, with all obstructions removed, with solve the problem.
  • The air conditioning unit is making strange noises: While some noise coming from the unit while it is running is normal, if you are hearing strong vibration or loud rattling noises then something may be wrong and a professional should probably look at the unit. If you hear a squealing noise, then the unit should be shut off and a professional called at once, as it could be that the belt connecting the blower to the motor has slipped, and you don’t want to end up damaging the motor.

 

Keep in mind that cleaning your air condition, while doable, should only be performed if you have a basic understanding of the parts of the unit. Also, any time the coolant is involved, you will definitely need the help of a professional HVAC contractor. Regular professional maintenance of the unit will also help prevent issues like the above from occurring to begin with.

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