Common Problems With The AC And How to Fix Them
If you live in California, air conditioning is pretty much a necessity. It’s fair to say that your days can become quite unbearable if your air conditioner suddenly goes out (certainly in the summer!). And since repairs can be costly, it’s important to make sure your AC is in stellar shape through regular tune-ups.
As a Bay Area homeowner, you may want to be aware of some of the more common problems that can plague your air conditioner. This will help you take preventative measures and avoid spending a small fortune on repairs.
Here are 5 common issues with air conditioners and easy ways to fix them:
Air Conditioner Doesn’t Seem To Cool as Well as It Used To
If your AC doesn’t seem to be cooling your home efficiently, the problem could lie with the airflow. In other words, the AC filters may have clogged up with dust, dirt, and debris.
It might be time to change the filter. Keep in mind that if you have pets in the house, or there are a lot of people living there, you need to change your filter every 30-60 days.
Also make sure there is at least 5 feet of clearance on the top and 24 inches on the sides of your outdoor AC unit. Check if any object is obstructing your home’s cold air registers and returns.
Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On
In most cases, this is caused by the thermostat that’s not set correctly. It could also be that power is not reaching your AC unit. You will need to ensure that your thermostat is set to “cool” or AC and the temperature setting is right. Also make sure the battery is functioning properly.
If none of this works, check your home’s circuit breaker; a tripped fuse may be the culprit.
Your Utility Bills Are Unusually High
When your AC is forced to work more to generate usual amount of cool air, the utility bills are bound to spike. Dirty filters are often responsible for this. The other reason is a clogged up condensing coil. This coil is located inside the outdoor unit and has several cooling fins that can collect dust and debris over time.
You will most likely need to call an AC repair professional to clean out the coil and change the filter.
Air Conditioner Makes Odd Noises
If you’re noticing any ticking, buzzing, or rattling noises coming out of your AC, it could be anything from a loose screw to a bent fan blade or a damaged blower motor. Only a thorough inspection of the indoor and outdoor unit by a professional can help pinpoint the cause.
A simple tightening of the screws and lubricating the hardware will be enough in some cases. But if it’s something more serious, your AC may need a new fan blade or fan motor.
Air Conditioner Turns On or Shuts Off Too Soon
You’d be surprised how often people have improperly placed thermostats. For example, if your unit is near a hot oven, too close to an air register, or in direct sun, it could cause problems with the AC. This can be fixed by relocating the thermostat.
Unless you are pretty handy and plan on re-using the same unit, you will need to call an electrician to do it.
If you are experiencing any of these problems, you’d be better off calling an HVAC expert rather than handling it yourself and risking injury or expensive repairs.