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Common Air Conditioner Problems

Priya Johnson Sep 29, 2018
Air conditioners often fail to cool the house or office. This is because of certain failures such as compressor overheating, blocked grills, outer fan malfunction, etc. in the unit.
Air conditioners are a blessing to the household, especially to those who dwell in sultry regions during the hot summers. Air conditioners eliminate the discomfort, one would go through, in the hot season.
However, these air conditioners can fail without warning. There are some common problems with regards to air conditioners that occur as the air conditioner gets older. From refrigerant leakage, loud noise, electric control failure to frozen coils, there are several things that can go wrong with this power hungry cooling machine.

Size and Installation Issues

Often mistakes are made with the size of the air conditioner installed. It may be either too big or too small for the room. To avoid problems later on, one must ensure that an air conditioner of the appropriate size is installed. Moreover, improper installation of central air conditioning, ends up in leaking ducts and poor air flow.

Leaking Refrigerant

The air conditioner will be low on refrigerant for two reasons. Either it was undercharged during installation, or the air conditioner leaks. In case of leakage, merely adding refrigerant will not suffice. A technician will have to be contacted, who will fix the leak, test the repair and then recharge the system with the right amount of refrigerant.
The air conditioner works at its best efficiency when the amount of refrigerant matches exactly to the manufacturer's specifications. Both undercharging or overcharging affects the performance of the air conditioner.

Wailing Noise

Loud and sometimes deafening noises can be heard coming from the air conditioner unit. These noises are usually caused by the fan belt. The fan belt can be dislodged from time to time.
Restoring the fan belt to its rightful place can solve the problem. While positioning the belt, the bearings in the motor should also be checked. At times lubrication or replacement is needed.

Bad Odor

Air conditions undergo constant warming and cooling, thereby resulting in the quick buildup of moisture. Inefficient evaporation of stagnant water results in molds, fungi, mildew, etc. thriving in the unit. Irregular changing of filters also spearheads bad odor.

Problems with the Sensor

A thermostat sensor is present behind the control panel of the air conditioner. It measures the temperature of air entering the evaporative coil. In case this sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner may behave erratically or cycle constantly. The displaced sensor must be positioned carefully, ensuring that the coil doesn't touch it.

Electric Control Failure

All the electrical connections and contacts should be checked at the time of professional servicing. Often over-sized systems go on and off, resulting in the wearing out of fan controls and compressors. Moreover, if the outer fan stops running, the compressor overheats and gets damaged.

Frozen Coils and Drainage Issues

Frozen coils and ice prevent the combination of Freon and air from circulating, thereby blocking the unit's operation. Collaboration checks can eliminate this problem. The condensate drain is to be checked for clogging. Dirt collection in the filters and coils results in poor functioning of the air conditioner. The fans and compressor may also break down.

Blocked Grills

Wipe the fan, motor, fins and other parts carefully, all the while ensuring that the electrical parts do not get wet. Care must be taken while removing the top grill, since it may be wired to the fan. Blocked grills are one of the most common problems in air conditioners, and can be solved by carefully cleaning the air conditioner parts.

Stops working

At times the air conditioner may stop working or may even not turn on. In such cases the fuse and circuit breakers are to be checked. The thermostat is to be adjusted to cool and below room temperature. The condenser power and furnace power switches are to be turned on.

Problem with the Outside fan

The responsibility of transferring the heat from the house to the outside air lies with the outside fan. However, if the outside fan doesn't function properly, heat transfer from the house to the outer air does not take place efficiently. This may cause the compressor to overheat and trip. Internal damage can also occur to the compressor.
The only way one can prevent all these problems is by investing in a preventive maintenance program. Routine maintenance tune-ups help detect low refrigerant, bad wiring, airflow problems, etc. NATE-certified technicians are qualified to make the necessary repairs.