When you turn on your AC for the first time after a long winter, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than realizing it’s broken.
Regardless of whether you maintain your system properly– with cleaning, air filter changes, and inspections– AC systems have a bad habit of breaking down. Before you get frustrated with your system or decide to spend the money to replace it entirely, use this list to get a better understanding of what the most common AC problems are, and whether they can be fixed without a replacement.
Problem #1: Air isn’t coming out of the vents
If your AC unit doesn’t seem to be emitting any air at all, it probably means that the outside fan has stopped operating. While this may sound like a death sentence, it’s actually one of the easier problems to fix as far as cooling systems go. It might be as simple as resetting a tripped breaker. If you do reset your breaker and the problem persists, it could be the blower belt instead. The good news is, blower belts are easily replaceable, and you can get hvac parts easily from Go Green Heating and Air.
If you try both fixes and neither works, it may be time to call in a professional. An HCAV specialist will be able to diagnose the problem and repair it, or advise you to replace the system.
Problem #2: The unit isn’t turning on
If your unit won’t turn on at all, you may be experiencing thermostat problems. Try setting your thermostat to “cool” mode and turning the temperature setting way down. If that doesn’t work, go to your electric panel and reset the breaker, as this could be problem with a blown fuse. It may also be as simple a problem as a faulty wire, though if that’s the case it may not be the easiest problem to manage. For a wiring issue, you’ll need to bring in an electrician.
Problem #3: The air conditioner isn’t producing cold air
If you air conditioner turns on and the fan blows but the only thing that’s coming out is warm air, you could be experiencing any one of a number of problems. First, check for the easiest problems: a dirty air filter, leaking or low refrigerant, or a blocked drain. You may also want to look out for ice around the coils, or dirt build up on the outside compressor.
Problem #4: Your system won’t turn off
Regardless of how hot it is outside, it’s not normal for your air conditioner to stay on constantly. If you’re finding it never shuts itself off, you probably have a fan problem. You can usually toggle this manually from your unit, though ultimately you might want to look into a professional repair. If you don’t think it’s a fan problem, you can also look at the relay switches or check the level or refrigerant.
Problem #4: Your AC is making a ton of noise
Most cooling systems make some kind of noise, but every now and then they’ll start making sounds you’re not used to. Those mystery noises are most typically the results of belt problems, meaning it’s not aligned correctly or you need to replace it. Belt problems are signified by squeaking sounds. If the noise more like a grinding sound, however, it could be a bearing problem instead. And if you’re hearing a popping sound, the problem is likely in the vents. Most of those problems can be quickly fixed with replacement parts.
Problem #5: The coil has frozen
A frozen coil means your electric bill is going off the hook, while the temperature in your house is hot as ever. The first thing to look for is a dirty air filter, or another blockage in the return ventilation system. You can also make sure your blower fan is running, and your refrigerant levels aren’t low.
Regardless of the problem, you should check if you can easily fix it before deciding to replace the unit. For any parts you need, visit Go Green Heating & Air Conditioning.