AC problems

Common Problems with Older AC Units


As air conditioners age, there are a number of different problems that you can run into. Common problems with older AC units are usually a result of general wear and tear and can include reduced efficiency, leaks, fan issues and electrical concerns.

Reduced Efficiency
If you’re running the air conditioner at full blast and the house still isn’t as cool as it should be, or you’ve noticed bills are increasing due to the cooling system—it’s a strong indication that the AC is losing efficiency. Sometimes, this can be fixed through maintenance, but other times, it’s best to upgrade to a more efficient unit. Typically, we find outdoor units plugged with large amounts of dirt, debris and grass clippings. A plugged outdoor coil ensures the units working harder than it needs to repeal heat.

Refrigerant Leaks
Another common problem with older AC units is refrigerant leaks. If you notice a leak around the air conditioner or large amounts of frost developing around the outdoor unit or above the furnace, it’s important to shut the unit off and get a professional out right away as older refrigerants can be harmful to both people and the environment. After the leak is fixed, the whole system will usually need to be recharged before the air conditioner will work properly again.

It’s worth noting that if your AC system uses R22, we’re no longer able to recharge the system and you’ll need to replace it with a newer model.

Improperly Working Furnace Fans
After the air conditioner produces cool air, it’s the furnace fan’s job to distribute it throughout the house. Over time, components in the fan mechanism can start to break down and cause the fan to move slowly or not at all. Always ensure you have a fresh filter in your furnace as a dirty clogged filter will cause the motor to runner longer and harder. If the motor fails it will need to be replaced. Sometimes, it makes more sense to upgrade the furnace, rather than try to replace or repair the fan.

Electrical Problems
There are a number of different wires and electrical components to an air conditioner, from the circuit board to the fans, compressor and coils. Frayed wiring or a busted capacitor is something that can happen over time and needs to be addressed before it causes more damage to the system. Depending on the extent of the problems and the age of the air conditioner, a technician might suggest upgrading to a whole new AC.

Regular annual maintenance will keep your air conditioner running properly, efficiently and safely for a number of years — but at a certain point — the air conditioner will start to break down. If you’d like an honest assessment of your cooling system, don’t hesitate to contact HAMCO Heating & Cooling. We offer free, no-obligation AC quotes and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

We have been serving the heating and air conditioning needs of Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Grimsby and Brantford areas since 1946.

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