Whether you have one small unit or several large central A/C units in an elaborate system, it represents a significant investment. Of course, you’ll want it to operate at tip-top shape at all times. Ensuring that that happens oftentimes comes down to proper use of the unit. That’s why knowing how to run your A/C so it’s efficient and won’t get overworked is critical.
You’ll also want to know what a good maintenance schedule for your unit should look like, and should make an effort to keep to that schedule to avoid any issues. But even if you’re using your unit properly and maintaining it regularly, problems can still arise (condenser coils get dirty, refrigerant gets low… a lot can happen), and you may need to call someone for central air conditioning repair.
Central Air Conditioning Repair
Knowing what those problems will look like can equip you to potentially solve them yourself. Alternatively, you’ll know to call a central air conditioning repair person when you recognize the fix will require the expertise of someone trained in central air conditioning service and repair.
Today we’ll explore some of the most common problems that are likely to arise with your A/C unit. Then, we’ll cover how to repair a central air conditioning unit yourself in some situations.
Top 7 Central Air Conditioning Problems
Here are seven of the biggest issues you’re likely to see that will require central air conditioning service and repair.
If your central A/C becomes low on refrigerant, it could mean several things have happened. Perhaps the A/C refrigerant was undercharged at installation or the last time it was maintained. Or, there could be a refrigerant leak. These can be harmful to you and the environment.
So, if your refrigerant is low, you’ll want to have a trained and trusted technician come and handle your central AC repair. They’ll be able to find the leak if there is one. Then, they can fix it, test the repair, and then re-charge your system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant.
Frozen evaporator coils
Ironically, if the problem is that your air conditioning unit is blowing warm air or even no air, it’s likely that the evaporator coils have frozen. These coils contain refrigerant which absorbs heat. But if airflow becomes diminished, it can result in a layer of ice forming over the coils, which impedes their function.
You’ll want a trained tech to take a look at this issue as well. While it’s not necessarily dangerous to de-ice the coils, the tech will also want to make sure that there isn’t a refrigerant leak.
Best to let them take care of it so that you’re not dealing with refrigerant itself!
Dirty condenser coils
The condenser coils on your A/C unit are located outside with your compressor.
If these components are on the roof or side of your house, they’ll likely become dirty at some point. You can save yourself a call to the A/C repair tech by spraying the coils with a hose once a year. But if they become too dirty to be hosed off, you’ll want to have a technician visit you to clean them with chemical cleaning solutions.
Part of your central A/C system is a fan that blows air over your evaporator coils to cool it, and then blows that cool air into your home.
Sometimes, the fans can become excessively noisy: this most often happens when dirt or debris gets into the fan motor, or the belts in the motor become worn. If your fan becomes excessively noisy, unfortunately, you will need a professional to look at it. Turn your unit off and then call a trusted central air conditioning system repair professional to figure out what’s causing the problem.
Central A/C systems rely on an elaborate network of interconnected ductwork to dispense cooled air throughout your house. But if those ducts have any leaks in them, that cooled air could be getting lost (in your attic, in your crawl spaces, or in a lot of other places that you definitely didn’t mean to cool).
If your A/C is running but the home just isn’t being cooled as well as it used to, it might be that there is a ductwork leak somewhere. Unfortunately (and depending upon the size of your house and the amount of ductwork that you have) this can be a tedious thing to check for yourself. It’s best to have a professional A/C repair technician come to investigate the ducting, find the source of the leak, and repair it.
The thermostat is located somewhere in your home where you can use it to control the temperature at which your A/C is cooling the house. It functions as a result of a sensor on its back, and sometimes that sensor can get knocked out of place.
If this happens, it can cause your A/C to continue cycling or to run erratically. But this is a relatively easy thing to check: just pull the thermostat off the wall and check to see if the sensor is in place and positioned upright (it should be near the coil on the back of the thermostat, but not touching it).
As your air conditioning unit is pulling moisture from the air, that moisture doesn’t just disappear: it has to go somewhere. The moisture is collected and then pulled through a drain line that then funnels the moisture into a pan, and then the moisture from the pan flows into a drain for disposal. But clogs in that drainage system can cause real problems for your unit.
Clogged drains can cause that excess moisture to back up into your system, creating damage (it’s a particular problem if you live in high-humidity areas, as these areas simply have more moisture in the air that needs to drain). This particular issue is something that an experienced A/C/ technician can easily resolve – give them a call if you suspect that your drains have become clogged.
(Read about more common problems with home air conditioning repair units here)
How to Avoid These Types of Central Air Conditioning Repair Problems
It would seem as though there’s a lot that can go wrong with your elaborate central A/C system. The good news is that there are steps you can take to avoid an issue that requires central AC repair. Let’s talk about what some of those are.
Central Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips: How to Repair a Central Air Conditioning Unit
Replace dirty air filters regularly
You’ll know when they’re dirty: your once-white filters will be covered in dust, dirt, pet dander, hair, and a host of other unpleasant materials. All of this debris is blocking the air from being pulled into your A/C. Then, this causes it to run inefficiently.
Be sure to check your filters regularly. If you find they’re dirty, pop over to the nearest home renovation store and pick up some new ones. They’re cheap and easy to pull in and take out, so you won’t need a repairman for this quick fix.
Inspect Ducts and Repair Any Holes if You Find Them
If your attic is convenient to access, you can inspect ductwork yourself. Look for obvious tears or gaps in the ductwork, or follow along the ducting with your hand while the unit is running to feel for any escaping air.
If you do come across a tear or leak, use foil tape (found at any local hardware or home renovation store) to repair the gap. You can also have a repair person provide this air conditioner repair if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself. Just mark the area you’ve found with a sharpie so it’s easy for them to find.
Install A Programmable Thermostat And Learn How To Use It
Programmable thermostats can save you serious energy in the long run. They’re a worthy investment, especially if you want to experiment with the ideal temperatures for your home.
A programmable thermostat is able to respond to changing temperatures within the home and outside to maintain a constant temperature. This keeps you pleasantly cool and keeps your unit running efficiently. It’ll also give you a little bit more control of the temperature of your house.
There are a lot of good programmable thermostats on the market today. Many of which even have other smart features or can be synced with your home security system! Investigate which one might be right for you and your home. Then, don’t be shy about making the investment because you’ll be saving yourself in the long run.
Clear Brush and Debris From Around the Outdoor Unit
We talked about the issues that can arise when coils and other outdoor components become dirty. But you can prevent those issues before they begin.
Start by ensuring the area around outdoor units remains dirt and debris-free. Conduct a quick check once or twice a month. If you find leaves, dirt, sticks, or any other debris? Go ahead and remove them from the area so they don’t cause an issue.
Don’t Neglect Regular Maintenance
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent a potential issue. Your A/C installer will likely have laid out for you a clear maintenance schedule when you first installed your unit. Follow it!
Have a trusted repair tech come out regularly to check the unit’s components and efficiency. This person will find and prevent any hazards before they become a real issue.
Central Air Conditioning Repair And Maintenance in Stuart
Central A/C units are complicated pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, there are a lot of components that can become damaged or broken. The good news is you can repair a central air conditioning unit – in some cases – all by yourself.
You can spot leaks in ductwork, or identify dirty coils, or a filter that needs replacing. But for the fixes that require a true professional, don’t wait: call the trusted techs at A/C Care. We’re here to help you keep your unit in tip-top shape, and give you the highest service in home central air conditioner repair.