Posted by: martinairofswfl | November 18, 2011

Troubleshooting Ideas

By troubleshooting your air conditioning problem, you’re more likely to hone in on the problem and save yourself some money. Not only will you be able to know the equipment you own, but you will be able to semi-diagnose the problem before calling in a specialist.

1. The unit isn’t running and you’re not seeing a digital reading on your thermostat. First, head over to the breaker panel and make sure the breaker did not trip. Often times this is a simple reset and the unit just needs to be turned back on to run again. If the breaker trips again after you’ve reset it once—you need to call an air conditioning specialist. There could be a problem associated with several types of issues from electrical to mechanical.

2. You’re noticing the unit isn’t allowing any air to blow out of the vents. This is possibly a problem with the blower mother. If you’re not hearing a humming sound when the motor is running you wants to shut the motor down. Also, if you smell a burning scent, this is never a good sign. Call a professional. Now if you’re seeing a fan spinning but no air is coming from the supply vents but cold air is coming from the top of the condensing unit—you could quite possibly have a bad compressor. Just make sure you shut the unit down when encountering any of the problems described. You do not want to run a machine that isn’t functioning properly for fear the other components still running could cause further damage.

3. Make sure you have the unit set to a lower temperature than your home is currently to test the unit. You may not have a broken unit, it may just be off.

4. Make sure you’re performing routine maintenance for the air conditioner. A clogged filter can end up restricting the air flow. This is a simple service that you can perform yourself and save a ton of time and money.

5. If everything is running properly but you’re experiencing poor air flow, you could have a problem in the cooling air ducts. Check all of the connectors to ensure they’re free of bends that could restrict the air further.

6. Filters are extremely important to the quality of air in your home, as well as keeping operations on target for the air conditioner. Make sure you’re replacing the filter twice a year. If you’re noticing cooling coils that are covered with ice, you may have a filter problem. If the filters are clean and the coil ices-up this condition may be present. A service technician will need to evaluate and test the system and if needed, adjust the refrigerant charge. 

7. Refrigerant problems—you could have too much, or too little—maybe even a leak? An air conditioner that has lost most refrigerant often times turns cold and you’ll see ice over the coils. This will eliminate the cool air within your home and you’ll notice quickly.

8. The air conditioner is stay on ON for longer than usual or maybe you’re seeing a lack of cooler air within your home. This could be due to a bad compressor unit. The unit is unable to compress the refrigerant due to the wearing away of the internal components. If the AC isn’t equipped with installed gauges, a professional can utilize the gauges to diagnose the problem as well as having a compressor suction vacuum to eliminate output pressure.

9. Your thermostat is not working but you notice nothing is wrong with the internal or external components of the air conditioner. By replacing the batteries in the thermostat, you should solve your problem. Many high quality thermostats have battery low indicators but many do not—keep any eye on this for future reference.

10. Exterior debris can cause air flow to be eliminated in and around the unit outside. This could cramp the unit and eventually prevent it from functioning properly. Make sure you sweep and rake the exterior unit as well as clean ventilation fins to ensure the unit will encounter no debris that could cause an issue.

While it’s no secret, you need to maintain any machine for it to run properly. Make sure you troubleshoot your unit before calling a professional. You could save yourself some time and money by pre-diagnosising an issue that is as simple as changing a battery. On another token, make sure you call a professional when you feel the problem is serious—they know their business the best and will waste no time in getting you cooler faster.

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