How to Deal with Common Air Conditioning Problems

Many parts together make up an air conditioning system (A/C): heating, cooling, adjusting humidification (air moisture), air cleaning/such as electrostatic filtering, fresh air ventilation and air movement. With so many parts involved, it is very easy for any one to have a problem and maybe cause the whole system to stop working properly. While you may think that you can repair it yourself, it is much easier for a professional to conduct the air conditioning repair; so then there will, hopefully, be fewer future issues. There are many different air conditioning jobs that are quite common. Listed below are just a few of them and what they mean to your air conditioner.

  1. Turn off the A/C system at the thermostat and, also, the appropriate breaker before attempting to work on the system. Don’t open any covers of the A/C, cooling and heating portions without turning off the power first.
  2. Identify problems in the condenser, the evaporator, or both. Each has fans, electrical relays and various connections. Both might be in the same unit as in a window unit.
  3. Replace the air filter with the right size, thickness and kind when needed. It is usually located in a convenient place, easily accessed (in a wall, mechanical room door or a ceiling for example). This maintenance is crucial, because when the filter is clogged the system becomes inefficient. If a system were ever operated with a torn, ill-fitted or missing filter — the evaporator could become clogged with dust and fungi, and ducting could become dirty and all require extensive cleaning.
  4. Replace a broken thermostat. The thermostat is the control inside the house that allows you to make a setting for ambient temperature (air temp) and select the air flow option inside your home. If this is broken, controlling the air temperature becomes impossible. This may mean that your air conditioner stops running entirely, it runs continually, or it works in rough starts and stops. Either way, it can end up costing you a lot of money, which is why it gets fixed so often.
  5. Diagnose low refrigerant. Refrigerant is a compressed gas that cools down the air by being pump through your A/C condenser and evaporator. There is supposed to be a certain amount of refrigerant inside your air conditioner at all times. When it gets low, your air does not get cooled down quite as much as it should.
  6. Repair leaking water. There is usually a pipe connected to your air conditioning evaporator unit that drains all of the condensation water that builds up while it is running. If the pipe is not draining correctly, water can leak on your floor, in attic space/ceiling, basement or on your roof. This can cause a lot more problems if not detected quickly and repaired (window A/C units usually drip outside, directly below the widow unit).
  7. Replace the fan motor. The fan motor is what draws in the fresh or recirculating air through the cooling coils to cool down the air. If this is not working correctly, then your home will not be near as cool as it could be.
  8. Diagnose noise issues. If your air conditioner is making more noise than usual, it may be because your air compressor is becoming worn out. This means that noise is increasing, which can be annoying. This is why noise is a common air conditioning repair problem.
  9. Reset or replace breakers or blown fuses. In some cases, the electricity running through your air conditioning unit can overwhelm the fuses located in your breaker box on in the A/C unit. Having someone come out and look at the electrical circuits for the air conditioning equipment is an important choice — so you do not end up hurting yourself.
  10. Avoid trying to repair something that you do not understand that well. If necessary, contact a professional or ask a friend who knows more about home/appliance repair than you do.