If you’re like most people, you never give much thought to your air conditioner. Until that is, it won’t turn on in the middle of a July heatwave.
Not only does that leave you feeling uncomfortable in your own home, but it can often lead to costly out-of-pocket expenses.
While you should only have to fully replace your unit every 15 to 20 years, there are plenty of common air conditioner problems you should watch out for, especially as your system gets older.
Keep reading for a closer look at some of the most common AC issues so you know what to expect the next time your system gives you trouble.
1. Evaporator Coil Issues
The evaporator coils in your air conditioning unit contain refrigerant. This helps to cool down the air blowing in your home, making you feel more comfortable. So, when the evaporator coils have issues, your unit won’t work as it should.
There are a number of things that can cause your evaporator coils to stop working, including:
- Damage, due to fallen limbs around your unit
- Corrosion build-up
- Restricted airflow, leading to frozen coils
- Accumulation of dust and dirt
If your unit is no longer blowing cold air into your home, schedule an AC Repair service, as your coils may be experiencing one of these issues.
2. Compressor Failure
The compressor in your air conditioning system is what pushes refrigerant through the evaporator coils.
Without this refrigerant, there’d be nothing to cool down the air in your home. So, if your compressor fails, your home will quickly become uncomfortable. Most often, compressors fail over time due to normal wear and tear from excess use.
However, if you have too much – or not enough – refrigerant in the unit, that can also cause the compressor to break.
3. Damage to the Air Ducts
Not all AC problems stem directly from the unit that sits outside your home. There are other components of the system that can contribute to issues. For example, if the air ducts in your home are damaged, the system can’t work properly.
If your ducts have suffered damage, either from pests in your home or during a construction project, this can lead to air leaks.
As cold air leaks out of the ducts, your system has to work harder, putting more strain on your air conditioner and leading to more serious issues later.
4. Electrical Issues
Anything that uses electricity in your home is at risk of experiencing issues. Your air conditioner is no exception.
There are several components of your air conditioner that are susceptible to electrical failure, including:
- The capacitor, which activates the motor in your unit
- The contractor, which helps start your system
- Relays, breakers, and wiring
If you experience electrical issues, your unit won’t work, and there’s an added risk of a fire starting in your unit. You should take these issues seriously and call in the help of a professional as soon as you can.
5. Broken Fan
Your air conditioner uses two fans to keep you comfortable. The first fan cools the evaporator by blowing indoor air over it.
The second fan blows air over the condenser of the outside unit, pushing the heat absorbed in your home to the outside. If either fan breaks, your unit will need repairs.
Over time, parts of the fans, like the motors and belts may wear out, causing them to break. Additionally, built-up dirt around the fans can cause them to stop working.
If you ignore this problem for too long, it can lead to more serious (and expensive) air conditioner issues down the road.
6. Dirty Filters
Be honest with yourself for a moment and think about how long it has been since you changed the air filters in your home. Has it been longer than a month? If so, you could risk damaging your unit.
It’s easy to forget about changing out your air filters, but the dirtier they get, the harder your AC unit has to work to push air through them.
Over time, this puts a strain on your unit, which can cause it to break down sooner than it otherwise would. Try to remember to change your filters every month.
And, if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly solution, get washable filters that you can clean each month instead of replacing them.
7. Leaking Water
It’s a good idea to visually inspect your air conditioning unit a few times per year. Especially if you’re not scheduling regular maintenance services with a professional.
During these inspections, you’ll want to keep an eye out for water leaks, which can signal a problem. If you notice dripping water around your unit, or you notice standing water nearby, there could be a drainage issue with the unit.
If the condensation that builds up in the unit can’t drain properly, you risk severe damage to your unit, as well as your home. At the first sign of water leaks, call in a professional for help.
8. Wear and Tear
As with anything else in life, time will eventually take its toll on your air conditioner. Even if you are diligent about scheduling regular maintenance, and you get issues fixed as soon as you notice them, your unit will break down at some point.
If you notice that your unit doesn’t seem to be as powerful as it once was, or it’s struggling to cool your home, it could be a sign of normal wear and tear.
While it’s best to get it inspected to see if there’s anything that can be done, be prepared that it might be time for a full replacement.
Fixing Air Conditioner Problems Can Be a Breeze
Now that you know more about the most common air conditioner problems, you also know the signs to look for to help prevent worse issues later.
If you remember to inspect your unit and schedule regular maintenance, fixing even the worst issues can be no big deal.
Looking for more helpful home advice like this? Check out our other articles before you go.