3 most common air conditioning problems

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Despite the cold temperatures this week, air conditioning season is just about here. If you’ve waited this long to turn on your system, it could have suffered damages over the course of the winter. You should schedule maintenance on your unit, before the season officially begins so that it’s ready when you need it.

Here are the three most common air conditioning problems that you may run into:

Refrigerant Leak: Refrigerant is the most important part of your air conditioning system. It’s the medium that absorbs heat from the air entering the system and is then pushed out after being cooled.

If your system has stopped producing cool air or some ice is visible on the outdoor unit or indoor evaporator coil, chances are your system has low levels of refrigerant or none at all due to a leak .

Most manufacturers have specifications for what the charge (amount) of the refrigerant should be. If your system is undercharged or overcharged it will not be working at its highest efficiency and could be more vulnerable to damage. This is why simply adding refrigerant to your system, is not an adequate repair for a leak. If needs to be located and repaired first.

You should call a HAMCO technician immediately to repair the leak or due to the age of the unit replace it all together.

Broken Compressor: A compressor is a very integral part of the cooling process in your air conditioner. It compresses the refrigerant to a higher pressure and temperature so that it may be cooled again through the condenser.

Compressors often have problems because of other issues in the system, such as incorrect charge (amount) in refrigerant, or a leak which can cause the compressor to overheat and fail. Similar to driving a car with no gas will do damage to the engine, the same applies to a compressor with no refrigerant. If a compressor fails, it will likely need to be replaced, or at minimum your system will need to be flushed.

Call a service technician to diagnose your compressor.

Dirty Coils: There are two types of coils, condenser coils and evaporator coils. They should both be cleaned. How often depends on where they are located and the environment they exist in .

Condenser coils are on the exterior of your outdoor unit and can often be cleaned with a hose, although you should perform a more thorough cleaning annually. Evaporator coils are located in the home installed above the furnace in the ductwork called the plenum. As a result these are harder to access and thus harder to clean. If you are uncomfortable cleaning your condenser coil or you believe your evaporator coils need cleaning, call a professional

Failure to maintain these components will lead to air flow being restricted thus reducing the efficiency of your system and leaving it vulnerable to breakdowns.

If you’re air conditioner isn’t working at all, always remember to check your fuses/breakers and thermostat before calling a service technician.

There are also several other problems that can occur with your air conditioner, the best way to prevent them is with regular maintenance. Keeping your system healthy will keep it running smoothly for years to come.

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