Four Major Air Conditioner Problems & Solutions

July 10, 2015

Unlike most heating systems, air conditioners have more complex mechanical systems that demand a variety of parts work correctly. Central air conditioners are designed to meet a certain “load” on the house and have a certain amount of refrigerant, commonly known as “charge”. They also need a certain amount of air flow across the coils. Should any of these things go awry; the system will not function properly.

We’ve compiled a list of four major issues that can go wrong with an AC and the solutions for them. Since air conditioners are more complicated and might not be easily resolved, we strongly recommend that homeowners call a professional air conditioning repair specialist.

Weak Airflow

Problem: Sometimes the air handler seems to be working fine, but the air coming out of the vent is weak.

Solutions: A dirty air filter and block return airflow, preventing the AC from supplying air to a home. Some systems have two air filters, one at a return grille and one at the air handler inside. Also, check the air registers to make sure they are open. Sometimes, homeowners close supply vents and registers in unused rooms to save money. Remove any furniture or curtains that are blocking open registers.

Blowing Warm Air

Problem: The thermostat shows that the unit is on, but it is blowing warm air instead. Most of the time, your system is low on refrigerant, or commonly known as Freon (which was actually a brand name for refrigerant that was banned years ago!)

Solutions: Be sure your air filter has been changed. Also, check your outside unit to ensure it is not dirty. When a condenser (outside unit) has dirty coils, it has a hard time releasing heat since the dirt is insulating the coils from the outside air. Cleaning the coils is easy: stop by your local hardware store for a coil cleaner, wear gloves, and follow the instructions on the cleaner. Be sure to turn your outside unit’s power off! When you’re done, turn the system back on.

AC System Constantly Running and Will Not Turn Off

Problem: Many people automatically turn to the solution of adding refrigerant, but there are multiple causes.

Solutions: Ask yourself the following questions:

  • When was the last time you cleaned your evaporator coil?
  • When was the last time you had your air filters changed? We recommend homeowners change the AC air filter every 30 days in summer.
  • When was the last time you “charged” the system?
  • Is there about 17 degrees difference between the supply air and the cold air coming out of the vents? If so, this is normal because it’s so hot outside that your system can’t keep the temperature up. Sometimes all it takes it a properly-sealed door and window.
  • Is your system is undersized for your home’s needs?
  • Can you set your thermostat a few degrees higher?

There are many factors that could cause this issue. Call a professional air conditioning repair technician at Winters® Home Services. We can run diagnostics and determine the cause of your AC issue.

Refrigerant/Freon is Leaking

Problem: Sometimes homeowners can detect the refrigerant leak themselves. You can also have a professional test it. But what causes the leak?

  • Bad installation: it’s important to have a good installer installing your system. Incomplete brazing can lead to slow leaks that will happen 5 years after the installation. Don’t go with the cheapest company. Go with the BEST company with great craftsmanship and warranty.
  • Acid: A type of acid called “formic” is a naturally occurring acid that derives from the ground and etches the copper coil, causing microscopic cracks in the copper.

Solutions: Apply a leak seal treatment, or replace the leaky component if the product is under warranty. However, sometimes an empty system might hold hidden damages and requires more than a simple recharge. If the compressor is dead, a repair will not do it justice. See our article on “4 Signs Your Central AC System is Failing” to determine your investment.

Need HVAC Service in Boston, MA? Call Winters® Home Services

Have you tried any of it above and your system is still not working properly? Don’t hesitate to call us at 617-221-5899 or schedule an appointment online.