5 Common Air-Conditioning Unit Problems and Their Fixes

As the summer quickly approaches, your air-conditioning unit is likely to become your new favorite appliance. Like with any appliance, it’s your responsibility to be mindful of your AC’s wellbeing and to make sure it’s able to continue to live a happy and healthy life. Even the best care can only go so far, though, and with the hottest months of the year ahead, you can be sure to expect some additional strain. As your resident air-conditioning doctors, we’re ready and able to diagnose and treat any maladies your unit might deal with. Here are a few common air-conditioning unit problems and how we can fix them.

Thermostat Misreading the Room

There is a common fear among many homeowners: fear of the thermostat. While many new smart thermostats are designed to be as easy to use as possible, many older units can be frustrating to operate. Due to this, what may seem like serious air-conditioning unit problems can just come down to a few tweaked settings or improper readings.

First, check to see if your thermostat is in direct sunlight. The extra heat may cause it to misjudge the temperature of the room, making the air conditioner work harder than necessary. Second, make sure the thermostat and any additional temperature registers are properly clear and clean. If they’re covered in dust or blocked by furniture, they may not be able to properly assess the room.

If you’re sure there are no external factors interfering with the readings but something still seems off, it may be time to consult the operator’s manual. It may not be the most exciting piece of literature, but it will help you determine if your thermostat is correctly programmed and calibrated to manage the temperature in your home.

Clogged Airflow from a Filthy Filter

Since your air conditioner is constantly taking air in, there is always a danger of dust and other particulate matter getting into the unit and damaging it. In order to continue functioning properly, your air conditioner employs a heavy-duty air filter. This filter is essential to the operation of the unit, providing a first line of defense against external contaminants.

Despite this, a filter itself can frequently be the cause of air-conditioning unit problems. Eventually, the filter will catch so much material that it actually prevents proper airflow through the unit. With a clogged filter, your fans will need to work harder to pull air through the system, your condenser coils are at risk of freezing over, and water may even build up and leak out into your home. All of this can cause undue strain and damage, costing you more money down the line.

Luckily, air filters are designed to be removed and replaced. If your filter is at the end of its life span, all you need to do is take it out and pop in a new one.

Outside Heat Leaking Inside

It takes a lot of energy to maintain a comfortable climate on a hot day, and one of the most common air-conditioning unit problems we see is outdoor heat sneaking in. Like with your thermostat, be sure that you’re keeping direct sunlight out of your home if at all possible. Even with the windows shut, that hot midday sun can quickly heat up a room. Shutting the blinds or curtains can be surprisingly effective at mitigating outdoor heat, but that’s only when sunlight is the problem.

If you have a break or leak in your actual ventilation system, you have a much bigger problem on your hands. Not only will your cool air be escaping out into the walls or out of the house, but warm air may get into the ventilation. If you think there might be a leak in your ventilation, you need the help of a professional to assess the situation and patch it up.

Low Refrigerant Reducing Cooling

At the heart of your air-conditioning unit lies the evaporator coils, working hard to chill all the air that passes through them. These coils utilize refrigerant to both cool air and remove humidity, allowing the unit to do its job. If your system is operating with a low level of refrigerant, you have a serious air-conditioning unit problem. While it might seem like the solution is just to add more refrigerant, the situation is much more complicated than that.

If your refrigerant is low, you’re most likely also dealing with a leak along the refrigerant line. Even if you try to just top it off, you’ll keep losing refrigerant until the leak is fixed. In addition to that, refrigerant is a harmful chemical compound and should not be handled by anyone without the right training and experience. In that situation, you’ll need the help of a professional HVAC technician. They will be able to find and seal any leaks in the line, as well as safely refill the refrigerant.

Mechanical Malfunction in the Unit Itself

Your air conditioner is a complicated piece of machinery, with many moving parts all working in unison to provide your home with cool, refreshing air. With that degree of complication, it’s almost inevitable that something will eventually go wrong. If you’ve checked all the external factors but are still dealing with undetermined air-conditioning unit problems, it may come down to one of the components giving out.

Should you need unit repairs, the team at Entek is more than happy to help. Our trained HVAC technicians are well-equipped to assess and repair your unit, allowing you to get your air conditioning up and running again in no time.

While it’s impossible to predict exactly if and when a part in your air conditioner might break, it’s possible to prevent the problem in the first place. If you want to avoid any surprise repairs in the future, we highly recommend planning and scheduling regular air conditioning maintenance. The vast majority of problems you might run into can be easily prevented with regular inspections and tune-ups, allowing you to enjoy your indoor climate uninterrupted. So whether or not you’re dealing with air conditioning unit problems right now, feel free to get in touch.