Your home stays comfortable over the summer thanks to your air conditioning. However, that comfort can be easily interrupted, leaving you wondering what happened and what you can do to fix it. Here are the common problems you might run into this summer, their causes, and what you can do about them, provided by Unique Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. located in Northglenn.
1. Clogged Air Filter
Clogged air filters are the most common problem with any HVAC system. The filter removes airborne contaminants before they can enter your system and clog harder-to-reach components. But that means they need regular replacement to keep your system operating efficiently.
For most 1-inch filters, you’ll want to put in a replacement about every 90 days. However, that may be shorter if you have poorer than average air quality. If you live with a lot of pets, or in a dusty or pollen-ridden area, you might try replacing the filter more often. You may not need to replace them as often if your system uses wider filters, so check with your service technician.
2. Frozen System
Something you may experience, especially with older systems, is a freeze in your system. This may occur in the evaporator or condensing coils, in the refrigerant lines, or even the compressor.
You may notice an obviously frozen condensing coil, being you can easily look and see the ice forming. However, you may not notice it as easily if the freeze happens in the lines or the evaporator coil. Signs of a possible freeze include reduced air volume or warm air coming from your vents.
Freezes in your system can be caused by low refrigerant, which happens as a result of a leak. They can also occur when you have an airflow restriction before or around your system’s coils.
3. Unusual Noises
Your system should run without much noise, aside from the sound of the circulating and condensing fans. However, you may notice many noises as your system ages or when something malfunctions.
The many noises you may hear include bangs, clanks, hums, buzzes, and rattles. The causes range from loose parts and pieces to broken or malfunctioning components.
Regardless of the noise or cause, the solution is often the same, getting professional maintenance for your system. Your technician will inspect and test your system to find any worn parts operating sub-optimally. They will also tighten the mounting belts and screws to help reduce age-related noises.
4. Tripped Circuit Breaker
Your air conditioner draws a lot of electricity from your home. The start-up draws about double the wattage as when the system is running. So it’s during this start-up that your system is most likely to trip your breaker.
Breakers trip because of too much current draw. If your air conditioner is on a dedicated circuit, as it should be, a trip means there is a problem with the system. While airflow restrictions may cause extra resistance, a malfunctioning compressor is the most common cause of a tripped breaker.
If your breaker trips, call for a professional to diagnose the problem. Simply turning the breaker back on risks significant damage to both your system and your home.
5. Short Cycling or Long Cycles
Ideally, your system should run for about 15 to 20 minutes, then should shut off. However, many problems will make your system’s cycle either run long or short.
A freeze in the system or a clogged condensate drain often leads to short cycling. Shorter cycles prevent your room temperature from achieving your desired temperature before the system shuts off. This leads to more frequent cycle starts, increasing the wear on your system and the need for repairs.
An inefficiency in the system causes longer cycles, again preventing it from achieving your desired temperature. In this case, you’ll experience significantly higher utility bills, along with more frequent repairs.
6. Failure to Start
Your system may simply fail to start when it tries to cycle on. There are several causes to why your system won’t start, but most are mechanical failures. This may include the compressor, but is more likely a fan motor, the capacitor, or the contractor.
Your maintenance technician will test each of these components to ensure they are working within optimal parameters. You can easily replace suboptimal components before you find yourself longing for cool air but unable to start your system.
Don’t let your system become a victim of neglect this summer. Unique Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. has provided reliable air conditioning maintenance and service to those around Northglenn since 2007. We also offer our customers indoor air quality audits and trusted solutions. Call to schedule your maintenance with one of our expert technicians today. We look forward to serving your climate comfort needs.