Common Problems That Require Air Conditioning Service

by Calyn Ehid

Although some people use window air conditioners, central air conditioning is the most common type of cooling system in homes where the summer months are hot or humid. Air conditioners work harder during the hottest days of the year, and they often break down during heat waves because of underlying problems or inadequate maintenance. To reduce the chances of that happening, it helps to know what to look for to determine if a unit needs repairs or servicing. These are some problems that warrant an immediate call to an HVAC professional:

  • The air that is coming from the vents is warm.
  • The airflow is weak.
  • The unit cycles frequently.
  • The air coming from the vents is unusually humid.
  • There is water leaking from the outdoor unit.
  • The unit emits an unusual odor.
  • There are unusual noises coming from the outdoor unit.

It can be difficult to diagnose problems without professional knowledge. A professional can provide a quick, safe and accurate analysis of the problem. Before professionals start any repairs or service tasks, they gain permission to proceed.

Common Air Conditioner Services and Repairs

Depending on the issue and its cause, there are a variety of tasks that service professionals may perform. These are some common examples.

  • Air Conditioner Servicing

It is important to have a unit serviced at the start of each cooling season to prevent costlier repairs and to ensure that it functions optimally enough to keep cooling costs reasonable. Servicing is considered preventative maintenance and not a repair. Also called a tune-up, servicing is a comprehensive inspection and cleaning of the important parts of an air conditioner.

A technician inspects and cleans the condenser coil, checks refrigerant levels and calibrates the thermostat. Also, the technician looks for any loose electrical components and tightens them. A tune-up includes an inspection of the blower belt and motor as well. While many issues that a technician finds during a tune-up can be fixed to prevent serious problems, a technician may occasionally identify a serious issue that warrants a major repair.

  • Refrigerant Leak Repair

Refrigerant leaks are common and are usually easy to fix. However, the challenging part is finding them. A skilled technician can identify the source of the leak and fix it. Since prolonged leaking can lead to other problems, it is important to fix a refrigerant leak promptly. In some cases, a unit may need more refrigerant but may not have a leak.

  • Compressor Repair

The compressor’s job is to pressurize the refrigerant, and this releases heat. Compressors have a lot of electrical wiring and have their own motors. Since the compressor is one of the parts that works the hardest, it is prone to developing problems after a while. A technician knows the myriad of issues that can happen with a compressor and how to fix them.

  • Fan Repair

One of the most common problems with air conditioners is a fan that is not working correctly. In many cases, fans that are not working have a bad fan capacitor, which is a short-term power supply. When this happens, there is usually a humming sound as the compressor tries to access the capacitor. If the motor for a fan is out, it will need to be replaced. There is a fan motor on the compressor and one for the blower, which helps push cooled air into the home. A technician can usually fix most fan-related issues quickly. Since fans have motors, blades and belts, it is important to let a professional inspect or repair them for safety reasons.

Get the Facts About Repair Services From a Professional

There are plenty of myths and false bits of information on the internet about DIY air conditioning repairs and services. For example, some guides wrongly instruct people to add more refrigerant to their units to fix problems that may be caused by something else. The easiest and most reliable way to address problems is to have a professional look at the unit. HVAC professionals are familiar with a wide range of newer and older units, and they know how to perform services and repairs without damaging air conditioners. The most important tip to remember is to be mindful of annual maintenance. By having a trained technician inspect the HVAC system and the air conditioner before it gets hot, homeowners can reduce the chances of making an emergency repair call later in the summer.