Understanding Some of the Common AC Problems and How to Troubleshoot


Every time your AC unit develops a problem, the first thing that rings in your mind is an expensive repair and maintenance process. While this is true to some extent, you can reverse it by having your unit regularly inspected and maintained. This helps in relieving you of expensive repairs.

There are common problems ACs face in the course of their operation. While many of the AC repairs require the attention of a professional, there is something you can do as the homeowner to mitigate the worsening of the condition before a HVAC technician comes. Below are some tips to start you off:

Air Condenser Not Running

The moment you realize your condenser is not running, the first point to check is whether the AC unit is plugged in. If it is connected to power, go ahead and check whether a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse is the cause of the problem.

Another cause for this problem could be a thermostat that is improperly set. Try troubleshooting by lowering the thermostat by a few degrees to check whether the AC unit will kick on. If that is not the problem, then there is a likelihood your compressor or motor is faulty. Get professional help on fixing the problem.

Inadequate Cooling

If your central AC unit doesn’t do what it meant to do best, cooling your home, then there is a problem. To begin with, lower your thermostat by about 5 degrees. If this leaves the problem unsolved, the cause could be a dirty evaporator. If you can, clean the evaporator and allow it to run for several hours.

If the AC doesn’t cool at all, check the condenser for dirt or blockages. With time, grass, tall weeds, and airborne debris can block this important AC component.

If the problem persists beyond this stage, it could be pointing to an improperly sized AC unit. Some homeowners buy AC units without consulting professionals for cooling assessments. This can lead to undersized or oversized units which may affect the cooling process. Also cooling needs evolve with time and as such an AC that was previously working well may develop cooling problems down the road.

AC Unit Shutting On and Off

This problem which is fairly common is usually caused by a blocked or dirty condenser unit. The best approach is to get a technician to clean the entire unit and remove any obstructions that may hinder the proper functioning of the evaporator or condenser coil.

In most instances, this solves the problem. That said, problems with thermostats shouldn’t be overruled. Learn more here on how a HVAC professional can be of help.

When to Call an AC Professional

If you have a fairly basic understanding of how an AC works and are familiar with the internal and external components, you can do most of the troubleshooting yourself. However, when it comes to problems with the coolant or coil, it is preferable that you call a competent and experienced HVAC contractor. These areas are sensitive and troubleshooting on your own may worsen the problem.

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