As the weather warms up and we think about how to get through the hot months of summer, it’s time to step outside and locate our air conditioning units. They have been battered through the winter months and may be covered in sticks, leaves, and other debris left behind from winter storms.
Before the summer heat strikes, it’s important to do a little tender maintenance to the unit that will keep your home cool when the temperatures soar.
Some of the following problems you can do yourself, but others should be done by a trained HVAC technician. The following are the most common air conditioner problems.
1. Poor Maintenance
It’s easy to forget to maintain your air conditioner. After all, you only need it a few months out of the year. But, if the air filters and coils become dirty, it won’t work well and the compressor and/or fans are more likely to fail prematurely giving you a larger repair bill than you may have paid had the maintenance been done in a timely manner.
Steps like cleaning the condenser (turn off the electrical power before you start!), changing the filters, and clearing debris from the unit you can do yourself.
2. Coolant Leaks
If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, or coolant, either it was undercharged at the time of installation or it may be leaking. A trained HVAC technician should be able to identify, test, and fix any coolant leaks and charge your system with the right amount of coolant.
3. Electrical Failure
The compressor and fan controls can fail, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently – this is common when the system is oversized for the space it is cooling. Wire and terminal corrosion is also a problem with many systems and the electrical connections and contacts can be checked by a trained HVAC technician.
4. Sensor Issues
Air conditioners typically operate based on temperature measurements made by sensors inside the home. If the sensor has been compromised in some way, the unit may not turn on or it may cycle erratically.
5. Drainage Blocks
When it’s humid outside, the air conditioner unit will generate moisture and needs to drain properly. Check to make sure that debris is cleared from the unit so that unwanted moisture will drain away from the unit and away from your home’s foundation.
Andrew MacDonald has been inspecting homes in Palatine, Schaumburg, St. Charles and surrounding towns for nearly a decade. If you have infrared home inspection questions, fill in our online form and request a return call today.
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