Common Central Air Conditioning Repairs
Central air conditioning repairs can range from simple do-it-yourself solutions to complicated procedures that require the services of a trained HVAC technician. Many problems can be avoided with regular maintenance and cleaning. Periodic cleaning of the air conditioner grill and filter, for example, makes the unit more efficient at cooling. A dirty filter can build up particles that choke the ducts and make the unit run inefficiently. A simple cleaning of the air filter will solve this problem.
Four common central air conditioning repairs:
- The unit won’t turn on. Make sure the thermostat is set to “cool” and that the set temperature is well below the current room temperature. Also, make sure the furnace power switch is turned on and that the outdoor condenser’s power switch hasn’t been shut off. A central air conditioner should be on a dedicated 240-volt circuit; if the unit won’t turn on, check your electrical panel for a tripped breaker or blown fuse. Also, be sure the 240-volt disconnect next to the compressor hasn’t been shut off.
- Condensation buildup. This is a common problem, and usually comes from a leaky tube. If that’s the case, replace the tube. Also, you can test the condensate pump by pouring water into its pan. If the pump won’t start, either it isn’t receiving power or it is broken. If it’s broken, either get it repaired or replace it. Another cause of this problem is ice blocking the tube. Ice buildup could be from a dirty filter. If the filter is not dirty, the air conditioner’s refrigerant supply is probably low. This is when it’s time to call an air-conditioning technician.
- Too much noise. Some air conditioners make a pinging or popping sound that originates in the ductwork. This may be caused by thermal expansion or by air blowing past a loose flap of metal. Inspect your ductwork till you isolate where the sound is coming from. When you find it, make a small dent in the metal to provide a more rigid surface that won’t expand and contract as it heats and cools. If the noise is a squealing or grinding sound, shut off the unit and call a HVAC repair technician, because the motor’s bearings are probably in need of replacement.
- No cold air. Another common problem with central air conditioners is that there is little or no cool air coming out of the unit. This could be due to a dirty blower. Clean the blower and the problem should be solved. The reduced cooling could also be due to old air compressors which have to be replaced. The air compressors are costly and this would be an expensive repair that should be handled by a trained HVAC technician.
Some central air conditioning repairs are simple enough that you can do them yourself, but these are complicated systems and some repairs should be referred to a trained professional.