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Common Air Conditioning Problems – and the Easy Fixes!

by Daniel Estevao on April 22, 2016

Common Air Conditioning Problems - and the Easy Fixes

The typical lifespan for an air conditioning unit or HVAC is around 12 years. If you have a system that is any older, yet still functioning properly, it’s probably a testament to the annual maintenance – or even the brand. But even if your unit is around that age and has started to malfunction, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s doomed. There are several reasons why a cooling system might act up. Below is a list of common air conditioning problems and some easy DIY fixes that won’t cost much.

1. THE A/C WON’T TURN ON

The thermostat might be the culprit in this case. Check to see if it is set to the A/C mode, the temperature is correct and that the battery is charged. If there doesn’t appear to be a problem with the thermostat, it could be a tripped fuse.

2. THE TEMPERATURE IS UNCOMFORTABLE

The airflow might be an issue. Change the filter. If it is during a period where the unit is being used constantly (in the heat of summer), the filter should be changed once a month. If changing the filter doesn’t help, check around the unit outside. Clear it of any obstructions – and make sure there is at least 24 inches of clearance on each side.

3. THE A/C SHUTS OFF TOO FREQUENTLY

Again, this might be problem with the thermostat. If it is placed in the direct sunlight or somewhere in the home that is warm (an oven or dryer), it might need to be relocated. This fix is not as easy as most – it might require the expertise of a technician depending on the installation.

TROUBLESHOOTING THERMOSTAT PROBLEMS 

4. INCREASINGLY HIGH UTILITY BILLS

The unit is not running efficiently, which could point to several problems. If the filter has already been changed, it might be a choked condensing coil. The coil is an integral part of the outdoor unit and has a number of cooling fins that can get clogged with dust. The best route is to call an A/C technician to come and perform a thorough maintenance.

5. UNUSUAL NOISES DURING START-UP

There are a few reasons this might be happening. The best case scenario is a loose screw – which can be easily fixed. Try tightening the unit where you can find obvious loose areas. A consistent noise during start-up might also allude to a bigger problem – including a bent fan blade. If noises persist after tightening any loose screws, call an HVAC professional come and check out the problem.

6. AIR DOESN’T FEEL COLD ENOUGH

If the air coming out of the registers doesn’t get as cold as it used to, you might have a problem with the refrigerant lines. The outdoor unit distributes air to the inside system through two copper lines, both of which should be covered with insulating sleeves. The unit might also simply need the refrigerant to be re-charged. Insulating sleeves can be purchased at a hardware store and applied easily, but you’ll need to call a professional to have the refrigerant re-charged.

If these quick fixes don’t help with your current problem, then don’t hesitate to give us a call! We excel in air conditioning and HVAC service.