Did you know that if you have a component break down in your air conditioning system, it could have a domino effect on the rest of the system? Meaning, one component becoming loose or breaking down could impact the component next to it, so on and so forth—and before you know it you’ll be stuck in the sweltering heat waiting for repairs—uncomfortably so.
Routine maintenance is the best way to ensure your system works as efficiently and effectively as possible, so if you haven’t kept up on this service, it’s not too late to schedule it now! Regardless of a tune-up appointment or not, the following are some common AC malfunctions we get calls for.
Low Airflow Due to Clogged Air Filter
The good news is, if this is the problem, you can resolve it all on your own. But allow us to explain why it’s a problem…
The air filter that comes with your HVAC installation is in place to keep dirt and dust out of that cooling system. If the air filter gets too clogged up, airflow is reduced to the point that it can hurt AC efficiency. Plus, all the debris that’s accumulated can work its way inside of your system, wreaking havoc on fans, coils, and other sensitive components.
Since your air conditioner won’t be able to remove the heat from your home as effectively as possible with a clogged air filter, the compressor will run longer—meaning that your air conditioner will essentially have to work harder. And an overworked air conditioner combined with summer heat is bad news all around.
Your air conditioning system has two major fans in it, and they both work to distribute air properly. The outdoor unit fan is tasked with exhausting hot air that was pulled from your home, while the indoor fan is what blows the cooled air into your home. A broken indoor fan will prevent the conditioned air form dispersing through your home, which can lead to frozen coils—more on that below.
If one of them stops functioning, you’ll have a problem on your hands. One reason this might occurs is due to excess dirt on the fan blades. The extra weight on the fan puts additional strain on the motor, causing it to burn out.
Dirty or Frozen Coils
In addition to your fans, another very important set of components for your air conditioner are the indoor and outdoor coils—that is, the evaporator and condenser coils. Their job is to transfer refrigerant.
When these coils get too dirty, they won’t be able to absorb heat as they should, causing the unit to overheat. Dirty coils or a refrigerant leak can also cause frozen coils, insulating them and making heat transfer eventually impossible.
Every refrigerant-based HVAC system is charged (filled) with enough refrigerant to ideally last its entire lifespan. If installed correctly the first time and properly maintained over the years it should reasonably never lose any of this refrigerant—if it does, it means you have a leak that must be repaired.
When a refrigerant leak occurs, your cooling system has to work hard to meet the demands of your thermostat, even though it’s unable to. Therefore not only will this cause system damage, but you’ll notice your cooling bills spiking, too.