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Common Air Conditioner Problems and How to Avoid Them

Leading air conditioner manufacturers make durable, high quality products, but without timely maintenance and care, problems can develop over time that can lead to premature breakdowns and costly AC repairs. Spotting issues early on will not only save you money but will likely improve the performance of your cooling system as well. Avoiding AC troubles in the first place is an even better strategy. Use these air conditioner troubleshooting tips to help identify and prevent potential problems.

Air Conditioner Failures

If your air conditioner suddenly stops working on a hot summer day, don’t panic. Most cooling systems are equipped with a pressure switch that automatically shuts the system down when a drastic change in pressure is detected. Give the unit time to cool down, and then reset it by pressing the switch, which is usually located on the access panel to compressor. If you can’t access the button or if resetting the switch doesn’t resolve the problem, it’s time to call in a professional HVAC technician. Other common problems that cause the system to fail include:

  • Blown fuses or circuit breakers
  • Faulty compressor or fan controls
  • Corroded wiring
  • Breaks in electrical connections
  • Defective thermostats or contactors

Low Refrigerant Charge

Air conditioners are charged with the optimal amount of refrigerant when they’re installed. If your AC displays signs of a low refrigerant level, chances are there’s a dangerous leak in the system. A refrigerant undercharge results in inadequate cooling and can lead to compressor and evaporator failures and malfunctions. Because HVAC technicians are trained in the proper management of refrigerants, it’s best to leave problems with these chemicals in the hands of professionals. A reputable technician will never add more refrigerant without first determining if a leak is at fault.

Condensate Leaks

Air conditioners work by extracting heat from the air, and because warm air holds more water vapor than cool air, moisture is drawn from the air as well. The condensate is collected in a pan equipped with a pipe that drains the moisture outside. If the condensate drain or pan becomes clogged with dirt or algae, water can spill out and cause damage to the system’s components.

Preventive Care

Preventive maintenance is the most effective and affordable way to prevent problems and minimize repair bills. During scheduled maintenance service, qualified technicians check, clean and adjust every AC component, from thermostat settings and electrical connections to condensate drains and refrigerant levels. Annual service agreements offer a convenient way to ensure that your air conditioner works when you most need it, but you can arrange for a single visit at any time as well.

Whether you need an emergency AC repair or maintenance service to prevent future problems, the HVAC professionals at Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning are happy to assist you. Contact our team at any time for fast and reliable solutions.

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