5 Common Air Conditioning Issues To Look Out For

Air conditioning unit with tools on top

Image source: Energy.gov

Does your central air conditioning system have “issues”?  Some A/C problems are literally built-in. For example, an undersized unit may simply lack the necessary capacity to meet your home’s cooling load. You need a new air conditioner—first, however, get an accurate cooling load calculation done by an HVAC contractor so it will be correctly sized this time. Unrealistic expectations can be a factor in cooling disappointments, too: Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees when the outside temp is approaching 100 is pretty much wishful thinking.

Diagnosing and resolving most common air conditioning issues is doable by a qualified HVAC technician with the required expertise and equipment. Here are five common scenarios:

Low Refrigerant

If the refrigerant level circulating in the system is low, cooling performance mysteriously declines and severe compressor damage can even result. Air conditioning refrigerant shouldn’t require periodic “topping up” like motor oil in a high-mileage car. Low refrigerant level means there’s a leak somewhere.

Neglected Maintenance

No factor impacts A/C effectiveness and energy efficiency like proper system airflow. The usual suspect in low airflow is a dirty filter. Don’t skimp here. Buy quality pleated air filters and change the filter yourself monthly. It’s an easy DIY procedure—just about the only maintenance you can do yourself on most units—but we’ll be happy to show you if you don’t know how.

Electronic Deficiency

Each time your air conditioner cycles on, the condenser fan located in the outdoor half needs a hefty jolt of electricity to get started. It’s supplied by a run capacitor. This component has a finite lifespan and over time loses the electrical oomph required to start the fan. It’s a straightforward fix for a qualified HVAC tech.

Thermostat Stuff

Is the thermostat switched on, in the “Cool” mode, and set for a temperature below current room temperature?  Just asking—“No Cooling” service calls occasionally have simple explanations!  Other thermo issues we see include calibration that is out of whack or a thermostat too clogged with dust to sense air temperature.

Water Leakage

Your A/C extracts gallons of water vapor from the air daily. When the condensate drain system clogs—usually due to algae in the drip pan—overflows occur and may cause severe household water damage before it is noted. Inspecting and treating the condensate system to prevent algae or mold growth is part of annual air conditioning preventive maintenance available from your local contractor.

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “What to Do When You’ve Dropped Jewelry Down the Toilet.”

North County Plumbing is located in Vista, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services…with no overtime charges!

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