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5 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems and Their Solutions

Air Conditioning Problems - Leaking refrigerant.

Surviving through the Summer heat can be an absolute nightmare if your air conditioning suddenly decides to cause you problems midsummer. You’d be surprised to hear how many housholds have had their AC give up on them unexpectedly, despite the unit seemingly working fine a  minute before. Air conditioning systems are generally designed to be dependable and durable, but problems can occur. These can be caused due to various reasons and not all are simple fixes. Here’s a list of the few things you should keep in mind to handle air conditioning problems

Air Conditioning Problems You Can Avoid

Leaking or low Refrigerant

Air Conditioning Problems - Leaking refrigerant.

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Refrigerant leaks are the most common problem in faulty air conditioning units. The refrigerant is the life and blood of the air conditioner, as it is responsible for cooling the air within the system. Refrigerant leaks can be caused by:

  • Basic wear and tear over the life of the unit
  • A vibration or shock can damage the seals between the pipes, or weaken the pipes themselves
  • Formic acid, which forms naturally, can start to eat away the copper pipes

Low refrigerant, if not through a leak, can be due to human error. If an air conditioner starts to lose cooling after it has been serviced, it may be due to the serviceman accidentally putting in fewer refrigerants than were required.

If you feel your unit is leaking refrigerant, contact the local HVAC technician, and have them inspect all the pipes and seals. Refrigerant can be hazardous to health if inhaled.

Faulty Wiring/Electrical Issues

Air Conditioning Problems - Faulty wiring.

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If the wiring wasn’t done properly at the time of installation, it could prevent the unit from getting full power. Eventually, over the many cycles of compression and decompression, the compressor could suddenly fail.

Faulty wiring can also lead to excessive corrosion of wires and terminals, which could not only risk the system itself but also potentially turn into a fire hazard. You should carry out routine inspections of the wiring. Should you hear sparks, or smell burning while using your air conditioner, turn the unit off and vacate the room immediately. Have a qualified electrician inspect the problem.

Sensor Failure

The temperature of the air going into the evaporative coil is measured by a thermostat sensor placed just behind the control panel. This sensor’s position is vital, as it determines how long to keep the compressor on. If the sensor gets displaced and moves too close to the already cold coil, it will assume the room has dropped down to the required temperature and turn off the compressor. This can lead to erratic behavior from the air conditioner and potentially damage parts.

This common problem can be fixed by simply opening the control panel and adjusting the wire that holds the sensor in place. It’s also a good idea to check the settings on the remote to make sure the AC is set to the cool mode and on the right temperature.

Maintenance Helps You to Avoid Air Conditioning Problems

Air filters and coils within the main indoor unit can gather large amounts of dust and other debris over time, which inhibit the smooth functioning of the air conditioner. Make sure to have filters changed regularly and clean the coils with a professional coil cleaning solution.

Problems with the Outside Unit

Air Conditioning Problems - Outside air conditioner.

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Split air conditioners, which are extensively used for smaller rooms, feature an outside unit that has a large fan. This fan is responsible for transferring the heat from the inside to the outside. Electrical problems or blockage can cause this fan to stop or slow down which could result in the entire unit overheating.

If you feel your air conditioners compressor sounds very strained be sure to have a professional inspect the outside fan to make sure it can spin freely.

If you live in the Brisbane area and have an air conditioner that seems to be giving you trouble, Snowdonia offers a wide range of maintenance services for both residential and commercial units. Snowdonia service areas cover a wide range of Brisbane suburbs.

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4 Responses

  1. Outside AC units are especially vulnerable to leaves, especially small ones that can fall through the spaces of the grill. If your unit is in a leafy area make sure to inspect it every once in a while and clean it out if necessary. This is actually very easy to do, you can just remove the grill and use a shop vac if you have one handy. If it isn’t in an area with trees then a quick inspection twice a year is fine. If the fan sounds noisy though it’s recommended to call a service to help you out.

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