Want some help diagnosing the cause of your HVAC unit not working or not cooling? Don’t want to wait for an AC repair service and want to try your hands on the unit for fixes? Read this guide.
Circuit Breaker Issues
If your air conditioner won’t turn on, you should begin by checking the circuit breaker. ACs get power through the circuit breaker. It can trip due to various reasons like heavy voltage, power surge, or putting too much load on the circuit breaker.
When a circuit breaker trips, it turns off the power. So, if you see that the circuit breaker is tripped, it means something caused it and you should investigate further to find out the reason behind it.
For this, hire an electrician to check the circuit breaker. If the AC is fine, the issue could be with the circuit breaker itself apart from the causes mentioned above.
Whether your electrician finds out a problem around the circuit breaker or not, you should also have your HVAC unit inspected. Because some problems with an AC can also trigger the circuit breaker to trip. Sometimes, the cause is a dirty air filter. But the cause can also be serious like a faulty compressor.
Old AC System
Air conditioners age and the components wear over time. This leads to inefficient cooling or heating and many other problems. If you have been using your HVAC unit for many years, it may have reached the end of its lifespan.
There are some signs that show your AC is too old and you should get a new air conditioner.
When the airflow is decreased, you should clean the air filters and make sure that the vents are clean and free from obstructions. But if you have taken care of these things and the airflow is poor, it may be due to the old age of the AC.
Any air conditioning system can require repairs, but if you see that your AC breaks down often and needs repairs frequently, consider replacing the AC.
The outdoor or inside unit of your AC can leak due to various reasons. Check out the drain line and clean the entire unit. But if the unit keeps leaking, it may be due to a refrigerant leak. It happens when the coils become corroded. So, you should replace the entire unit.
If you hear your AC making loud rattling, screeching, or grinding noises, have it inspected and consider a replacement.
Low refrigerant (Freon) is the cause of many AC problems. If your HVAC unit is not turning on, not cooling, short cycling, running constantly, or the coils are freezing up, you should check the refrigerant levels. Keep in mind that refrigerant levels can only be checked by a professional.
Refrigerant is a key part of the cooling (or heating) process in HVAC systems. It flows inside the condenser and evaporator coils to cool your house. If the refrigerant levels become low, the cooling process is affected. Your AC may not cool properly or start blowing warm air.
Take note that air conditioners don’t consume refrigerant like cars consume gasoline. So, low levels of refrigerant in an air conditioner are usually because of a leak or improper installation.
If you installed a new AC and you started noticing cooling problems in a few months and the repairer detected low refrigerant levels, then it may be due to improper installation.
But if your AC is a few years old and the refrigerant is low, it may be due to a leak. Minor cracks can occur in different parts of an AC like the coils and cause Freon leakage. Additionally, lack of maintenance can speed up the corrosion and cause cracks and holes that allow refrigerant to escape.
So, the problem of low refrigerant can’t be fixed by filling the refrigerant. It should be fixed by detecting the leaks, fixing them, and only then filling the refrigerant. It’s done by an AC repair expert.
Clogged Air Filters
Dirty air filters is a also a common culprit of many HVAC problems. Whether your AC is not turning on, blowing warm air, not blowing enough air, not cooling the house evenly, leaking water, freezing up the outdoor unit, or showing any other problem, check out the air filters and clean them.
Air filters are of two types: washable and disposable. Washable air filters can be used for about 10 years. So, you may need to replace them once in the lifetime of the HVAC system you’re using. They have metal frames. You should clean them every 2 weeks or after a month depending on your AC usage.
On the other hand, disposable air filters can’t be cleaned. Once they become dirty, you should replace them. Usually, disposable air filters are replaced once every month.
The thermostat is another AC component that you should check if your AC is not working or showing any other problem. A thermostat regulates the temperature of your house and for the AC to turn on, it must be working.
If your thermostat is not displaying anything, its batteries may have died. Replace the batteries. However, if the thermostat doesn’t work even after replacing the batteries, it may be faulty.
Keep in mind that various AC issues are linked to a malfunctioning thermostat. For instance, if your AC is short cycling, the thermostat may be faulty or installed in the wrong location. But the thermostat is not the only component that can be responsible for an AC short cycling. It can be due to an oversized AC as well.
Clogged Drain Line
Air conditioners cool the air inside the house and remove moisture from the air. This moisture is collected in the drain pan which leads water out of the system through the drain line.
With usage, the drain pan can become clogged. ACs have a back up drain as well, but it’s common for both of them to get clogged. When this happens, the float switch of the AC triggers it to turn off. This is a safety feature to ensure that water doesn’t leak into your house. But usually, this switch is triggered a bit after you start seeing water leaking through the AC’s inside or outdoor unit.
The drain pan and drain line don’t get clogged if you clean your HVAC system regularly. But if you don’t, you may have to face this issue. If the cause of your AC problems is a clogged drain pan, all you need to do is clean the drain pan using a wet-dry vacuum or any other method. Moreover, carry out the cleaning of your entire AC unit also as a precautionary measure.
Dirty Condenser Unit
The condenser unit has condenser coils, the fan motor, the fan, and the compressor. Many of these components can’t function properly if there is dust and debris inside and on the condenser unit. Fan blades can stop moving due to obstructions. Also, it can limit the functioning of the condenser coils to remove heat from the unit. So, clean the condenser unit regularly. You can use a garden hose for this purpose.
Diagnosing what’s wrong with your air conditioner can be difficult. However, you may find some of the above tips helpful. If you can’t detect the problem, get an expert from HVAC companies Chantilly to take a look at your AC.