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March 10 2016


How to Prevent Air Conditioning Breakdowns This Summer

In today's rough economic times the final thing you need is a surprise air conditioning repair. While all mechanical systems require repairs every once in awhile, many are preventable. In no particular order, listed below are the ten most common problems we encounter every spring and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Dirty Filter

If you have a 1" disposable filter, it ought to be replaced monthly. It's away from sight and beyond mind, so it's easy to forget to change it. Yet, annually we go on service calls the place that the air conditioner isn't cooling and also the cause is restricted air-flow from an extremely dirty filter. Dirty filters reduce indoor quality of air, make the home less comfortable, and will result in frozen indoor coils, eventually ultimately causing serious repairs.

2. Switch Powered down

Some heating and air conditioning systems have a wall switch at the indoor unit for safety and convenience that may be confused with a light switch. If this is accidentally switched off or left off during mild weather, your air conditioner will not start. Look for the condition of this switch before calling us.

3. Tripped Breaker

Probably the most common causes of no-cool calls can be a tripped breaker. Reset it before calling us. Hopefully, it won't repeat. If it does, contact us. Something is causing the breaker to trip. Often, it's something simple, like a bad breaker, loose wire, or a bad capacitor. However, or even addressed, some simple problems might lead to far more expensive repairs.

4. Refrigerant Leaks

An air conditioning system is a sealed system. It should never leak refrigerant. In the event it does, bad things happen. Your air conditioner efficiency falls and electricity use rises. Your ac may not cool. The coil may freeze. The compressor becomes damaged. Plus, refrigerants are greenhouse gases. We make use of a variety of tools to acquire refrigerant leaks. Often the issue is as simple as a bad Schrader valve or a weakened connection between fitting and refrigerant tubing.

5. Thermostat

Some thermostats should be switched between heating mode and cooling mode. If your switch is in the wrong position or breaks, your air conditioner won't start. Quality digital thermostats rarely fail. A few of the cheap ones available from the big boxes might. Just what exactly goes wrong? The switch might break; a voltage spike may cause a malfunction, and so on.

6. Clogged Drain Line

Air conditioning pull moisture beyond humid air while reducing temperature. The moisture is usually drained out of your home by your plumbing system. A drain pan needs to be present as a backup with a secondary condensate drain. Algae can grow over these lines, clogging them up. This might lead to water damage in your home. We pay off the drain lines as part of our spring air-con tune-up or you can have it done separately, as required.

7. Contactor

A contactor can be an electromechanical switch in your air conditioner. Sometimes the silver coating on a contactor will wear off and the contactor will stick, resulting in the outside unit to run continuously, which is expensive. Sometimes ants are interested in the electricity and get squashed between the contactors, blocking them from closing. During these moments, the outside unit won't run. Contactors also can fail electrically. We check these as part of a spring tune-up, clean the surface of the contactors if needed, and recommend replacement if failure appears imminent.

8. Dirty Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is located inside your home... Periodically the coil has to be cleaned or dust and dirt build up will restrict the coil's heat transfer capabilities minimizing system air flow. Dirty coils increase operating cost reducing the comfort of your home. * Should be carried out by HVAC Professional

9. Dirty Condenser Coil

The condenser coil will be the outside portion of your air conditioning system. A dirty or restricted coil is inefficient, increasing electricity usage and reducing system cooling capacity. Keeping it clean will go along way in reducing energy costs and lowering the wear and tear on your air-con system.

10. Duct Leaks

Which has a forced air heating & air conditioning system you pay to condition air. The ductwork offers the air to the different rooms. If the ductwork that supply's this air is found outside of the area you desire conditioned like basement, crawl space or attic has leaks, you happen to be paying to condition a space that you do not want to condition reducing the amount of air that might be conditioning the rooms you would like to condition. This causes longer run times and energy bills. Inefficient ductwork (your air distribution system) can be a major energy waster for most homes. I will have more on this in future articles.

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