It can be a stressful experience when your air conditioning system suddenly stops working during a sweltering day. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your cooling system. However, some parts tend to wear out more quickly than others. Here are some of the most common issues with an air conditioner.
Common AC Repairs
The most common issue with an air conditioning system is a faulty capacitor. A capacitor is a component that helps operate the electric motor. During the initial starting stage, the capacitor will provide a surge of energy, enabling the motor to reach the required speed. When a capacitor starts to weaken over time, it can cause significant problems, leading to a complete failure if not fixed. A bad capacitor is a common issue that can impact your air conditioning system’s performance.
When the thermostat is working correctly, but the air from your vents is not cold, you may also have a condenser issue. The condenser has two parts: the compressor and the fan motor. Sometimes, a faulty capacitor can affect these components. If the air feels warmer than the surrounding air, there is a good chance that your capacitor is faulty. Additionally, if you hear a humming or buzzing sound from the condenser, but the fan motor or compressor isn’t running, this is another sign of a bad capacitor.
Ignoring a faulty capacitor can result in additional damage to your air conditioning unit, leading to costly repairs. You should reach out to a professional AC repair team as soon as possible.
What Are Other Common AC Problems?
Faulty capacitors are not the only issues affecting your air conditioning unit. Plenty of other problems can lead to an inoperable AC system, such as:
Low Refrigerant Levels
Low refrigerant levels are among the most common issues with air conditioning systems. Refrigerant is the substance that transfers heat to cool your home. When the refrigerant levels are low, your air conditioning system will struggle to create cool air. A slow leak in the system usually causes low refrigerant levels.
While adding refrigerant to the system can help restore cooling efficiency, the underlying cause of the low refrigerant levels must be addressed. Refrigerant fluids do not disappear. Instead, they escape through leaks in the system. Leaks often occur in the evaporator coil, which can lead to replacing the entire system.
If you suspect low refrigerant levels, you will want to contact a professional to inspect the system and identify the source of the leak. Attempting to fix the issue yourself may result in damage or even injury. Remember that refrigerant is a hazardous substance that requires specialized equipment and knowledge to handle safely.
Low refrigerant levels reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system and increase its energy consumption, leading to higher energy bills. When you notice any problems, you will want to address this issue as soon as possible to minimize the potential for system damage. Along with that, a repair can help you save on energy costs.
When you turn on your air conditioner, you want to cool your home and remove moisture from the air. With dehumidification, your home will be more comfortable while maintaining healthy air quality. As the air is cooled, the moisture condenses into water droplets that need to be drained away from your home. However, the drain line can become clogged with algae, mold, or other debris over time, preventing water from flowing properly. When this happens, the water backs up and fills a secondary drain pan inside the unit. As a result, it triggers a safety switch to shut off the system to prevent water damage.
If you want to prevent clogged lines, you need to regularly maintain your AC system, including cleaning the drain line. You will want to address this issue promptly since the water buildup can lead to mold growth, musty odors, and even structural damage to your home. Regular drain line maintenance and cleaning can prevent this common AC problem. When you schedule a maintenance visit, you can keep your system running smoothly for years to come.
Bad Blower Motor
The blower motor is a crucial component of your air conditioning system. It is responsible for circulating air throughout your home’s ductwork. Blower motors are generally reliable, but they can still need repairs. Blowers are typically located in your home’s hot and humid areas where they can accumulate dust and dirt. Neglecting to clean or lubricate the bearings of its motor can cause it to fail prematurely. Additionally, older blower motors rely on capacitors to start up. As these capacitors age or wear out, additional stress is placed on the motor during startup.
One of the most common signs of a failing blower motor is a burning smell in your ductwork. If you hear a rotating banging or grinding sound, that indicates something is wrong with the blower. You will want to turn off your air conditioning system to prevent further damage or a potential fire.
If you suspect your blower motor is failing, call a professional technician to diagnose and repair the issue. Attempting to fix the problem by yourself can be dangerous and may cause more damage to your system.
The condenser fan motor and compressor are essential components of your AC system’s outdoor unit. When they malfunction, your air conditioning system can face serious problems. These two parts often work together to cool down your home.
If you notice these motors are not running or hear screeching sounds, your compressor or condenser fan motor may be faulty. There are several ways these motors can fail. When a winding comes in contact with the case or ground, it causes a short circuit. As a result, the breaker will trip and not reset. In the case of an open winding, the motor will not trip the breaker, but it is no longer functional and will not turn. The bearings in a motor allow it to turn freely with minimal friction. When those bearings go bad, they make screeching or grinding noises. In the case of the compressor, the valves can go bad when they can no longer hold pressure, causing a hissing or whining sound as the refrigerant escapes around an area that should be sealed.
You should never try to fix any of these issues yourself since they require specialized knowledge and tools. Always hire a professional AC repair team to handle the repairs. If you hear any strange sounds or notice that your air conditioning system is not working properly, turn off your system to prevent further damage or fire hazards. With the help of a professional, they will diagnose the issue and replace any damaged parts to get your system up and running again.
At Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning in San Marcos, CA, we know you want a dependable AC system. Our team of skilled and certified technicians is always ready to assist you with any problems with your air conditioner. We offer heating and AC repair, maintenance, and installation. Additionally, our factory-trained and NATE-certified technicians can help you address issues with your indoor air quality, heat pump, and ductless systems. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!