If your air conditioner is old, you may hold your breath and wonder if it will work when you first flip the AC on when the weather gets hot. Breakdowns are more common when your HVAC gets old, but if you maintain the unit well, you might be able to avoid problems, and then when you first turn your AC on, you'll be pleased to feel cool air blowing in your home. Here are three problems that might affect your air conditioner's performance.
1. Trouble With The Evaporator Coil
If you have a combined HVAC, the air handler is a combination furnace and air conditioner. Your system will also have a separate AC unit outside that's connected to the air handler.
The AC evaporator coils are in the air handler indoors. These coils are responsible for absorbing heat from your home and taking it outside where the heat can be released. It does this because of the cold refrigerant flowing through the coils.
If the coils get coated with dust or frost, heat will build in your home. An HVAC repair technician can fix this problem by cleaning the evaporator coils.
Another problem that can develop with the coils is leaking refrigerant due to a tiny pinhole. Tiny holes can develop because of the reaction of the copper coils with other metals or chemicals in the air that leads to pitting or corrosion. The technician may need to patch holes in the coils or replace the coils entirely.
2. Malfunctioning Blower Motor
The motor that turns the fan that pushes air through your system works when you run your furnace or your air conditioner, so it gets a lot of use. Parts may go bad in the motor, or the motor may get dusty and dirty.
When dust builds up on the fan or motor, the motor can overheat. When that happens, your AC may short cycle or just shut down completely. The HVAC technician may need to pull the fan and motor out to service and clean them so your AC starts running.
3. Damaged Condenser Parts
If your furnace is working fine when you stop using it, you'd think your air conditioner would run just fine too. However, if something goes wrong with the condenser outside, your AC may not run, or it might run but not put out chilly air.
Parts in the condenser may break down due to rust, gnawing by rodents, electrical problems, restricted airflow, or a loss of refrigerant.
An HVAC technician may catch these problems when doing a spring tuneup on your air conditioner. A spring tuneup could even prevent trouble by getting rid of dust in your system so it's clean and has adequate airflow.
However, when your AC is old, problems can occur, so if your AC won't get you cool enough, call a residential HVAC service to make repairs before your AC stops working altogether.
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.