It’s easy to take your air conditioner for granted…when it’s working. When those summer temperatures spike and your system fails, however, you suddenly realize just how important it is! We’ve compiled the top five most common signs that your central air conditioning unit might be malfunctioning. If any of these causes are to blame, you should bring in a professional, like one from Charlotte HVAC, to get your air conditioning up and running right away. There are, however, a few troubleshooting options you can try out first.
- Water is Pooling Up
If you notice that your AC unit is accumulating puddles of water under the condenser, it’s likely that the drain is plugged. This forces the water in your air conditioner to find another way out. In this case, the part will most likely need to be replaced. If you want to troubleshoot, however, you can try to clean it out on your own. We typically recommend replacing it but if you would like to try, do the following:
- Create vinegar water (1 to 10 parts) and pour it into the drain to remove algae and other build-up.
- Remove the trap and take a look for anything out of the ordinary.
- If your unit has tubes, pour the solution through them or use a wire to scrap the sides. You should see, and be able to remove, any clogs if they are the issue.
- Place the trap back on, reassemble any parts you’ve dismantled and give it a try.
- Hot Air is Coming Out
If your AC unit is suddenly feeling like a heater, you’ve got some serious issues. There are three likely reasons this is happening. Your outside unit is clogged, you’ve lost power to your outside unit or there could be a refrigerant leak. If the last option is the case, you only want a professional to fix the problem. To rule out the first two causes, try this:
- Using a broom, sweep outside near the air conditioner unit to make sure it is clear of debris or foliage.
- Check the circuit breaker and the emergency shutoff switch. If the emergency switch is in the “on” position, this is likely your problem. If the circuit is blown, simply replace it and test it again.
- Air Conditioning Turns On and Off RandomlyIf it seems that your air conditioner is possessed, it’s more likely that the reason it keeps shutting off and turning on randomly is that the condenser unit is either blocked by foreign objects or the evaporator is dirty.
Inspect the unit and see if there are any obvious obstructions around the condenser. Do your best to clear out any dust or other debris that may clog up the system.
- Air Conditioner Won’t Turn OnIf you are switching the unit on and nothing is happening, first ask yourself if the unit has been cleaned in the last year. If it hasn’t, it’s likely clogged. Other troubleshooting options include:
- Checking the fuse box
- Replace or try to clean the filter
- Wash off condenser coils if they appear dusty
- Air Conditioner Won’t Stop RunningOn the other end of the spectrum, if your air conditioner won’t stop running, you are wasting electricity and probably freezing everyone in your home. You’ll likely need to call a technician but try the following first:
- Turn up the thermostat – make sure you aren’t causing the issue by keeping your thermostat temperature down too low.
- Check the condenser by taking off the cover – look and see if there is anything obvious that is blocking the flow.
- Clean any dirty fan blades or remove ones that are broke and need to be replaced.
- If the blower or filter looks clogged, use a vacuum to blow the dirt out of the unit.
These are just a few of the various reasons that your central air conditioner might not be functioning. While it may be tempting to dive in and fix it yourself, it’s not always an option.
These five issues may have easy fixes, but if you follow these troubleshooting tips and are still having issues with your air conditioner, it’s best to leave it alone and call a professional. The last thing you want to do is cause a further issue by messing around with something you have little to no knowledge about.
A great service provider will be able to do a complete diagnostic of your unit and advise you about what you’ll need to do next. Whether it’s a repair or a full on replacement, at least you will know and be one step closer to getting your air conditioner back in the game.