Common air conditioner issues include AC unit not cooling, blowing warm air, not turning on at all and outdoor fan not working. These issues might be caused by refrigerant leaks, frozen coil, sensor problems and/or faulty wiring.
Why air conditioners fail?
The root causes can be traced back to the following:
- Inadequate maintenance
- Improper installation
- Low quality unit
- AC unit incompatible with the room size and purpose
Although naturally AC units will show signs of deterioration after a few or several years, most of the problems would still be prevented with proper maintenance and installation.
For instance, what happens when the air conditioner filter is dirty? The dirt build-up will restrict cold air flow. This then leads to ice formation on the coils (which makes room cooling impossible).
That’s why regular and timely maintenance (e.g. cleaning of filters) is crucial for the AC to work properly. Also, a dirty filter might cause health concerns about air quality. Professionals may use manual brushing and vacuum cleaning to remove dust, dirt and other blockages.
Aside from dirty AC filter, another common problem is refrigerant leaks. This could be caused by improper installation or some joints and connections might wear out through time. The leaks would then make the AC ineffective (and might even be hazardous to health and environment).
The most common air conditioner problems and solutions
Earlier we mentioned the most common air conditioner issues:
- AC unit not cooling
- Unit is blowing warm air
- AC not turning on at all
- Outdoor fan not working
How to figure out the root causes and solve them once and for all? The most effective way is by having a professional AC technician look at your AC unit. For example, here at Conduct Air Conditioning we’re doing the following:
- Detect leaks and confirm if there’s enough refrigerant
- Tighten connections to seal leaks and prevent electrical hazards
- Capture leaked refrigerant and properly dispose of it (refrigerants may be harmful to health and environment)
- Clean the AC filter and remove dust, dirt and grime build-up
- Correct the placement and positioning of the sensor (wrong position would make the unit run continuously or erratically)
- Advise you to replace the compressor (or just replace the whole unit because a new compressor is expensive)
Whether we installed your unit or not, we’ll service your air conditioner. Our expert technicians have already worked on popular AC brands such as Panasonic, Samsung and Daikin.
Why is my AC running but not cooling?
Common reasons are dirty filter, not enough refrigerant (due to leaks) and faulty compressor. As mentioned earlier, dirty filter restricts flow of cold air. On the other hand, the refrigerant or coolant is responsible for cooling. Insufficient refrigerant due to leaks will make cooling far from effective. A faulty compressor may be caused by dirty coils. As a result, the compressor might overheat and fail.
The signs might be gradual. At first the cooling might still be noticeable but it gets weaker as days and weeks pass by. Then, the AC won’t be producing the cooling effect at all. The problem already got worse (e.g. too much dirt build-up on the filter, refrigerant leaks have already compromised the whole system).
That’s why it’s recommended to solve the problem early on. Technicians can detect the leaks right away and clean them up. This would prevent worse issues such as ice formation and health hazards from occurring in the first place.
Why does my air conditioner blow hot air?
It’s either because of refrigerant leak or faulty compressor. If you hear a knocking noise, the compressor is at fault. On the other hand, a hissing noise signals a refrigerant leak (which can eventually ruin the compressor).
It’s also possible that the outdoor unit is not working at all. The outdoor unit’s purpose is to blow warm air out. If it’s not working, the hot air will just go back to the indoors (or even build up in your unit). Aside from making the room uncomfortable, this would also increase your electricity bill.
Here are some things that professional technicians do to fix the problem:
- Determine first if it’s caused either by a refrigerant leak, faulty compressor or defective outdoor unit
- If it’s a leak, capture the refrigerant and clean up the coils and other parts
- If it’s a faulty compressor, a replacement might be required (or replacement of the whole unit because it’s more cost effective)
- If the outdoor unit’s not working, perhaps it doesn’t receive electricity
- Electrical connections to the outdoor unit will be fixed
These are simplified steps because there are safety precautions each step of the way. For example, leaked refrigerants should be properly captured and disposed. Also, it requires electrical expertise to check the wiring and other fixtures associated with the AC unit.
Why did my AC quit working?
If your air conditioner does not turn on at all, it might be because of the remote not working or the circuit breaker tripped. The common reasons might be more about the electrical than with the AC unit itself.
Other reasons might be related with compressor failure and worn out parts. It’s also possible that the user forgot to set the thermostat to cool and lower the temperature setting to a few degrees lower.
If the reasons are related to compressor and electrical connections, a repair or replacement might be required. The technician might check the compressor valves and outlets. He might also check if your home has an adequate amperage (standard is 100 amps, 150 to 200 amps for larger homes). He might also inspect the outlet and wiring that’s responsible for running the air conditioner.
Another reason your AC stops working is that it’s already way passed its useful lifespan. Quality units may last 15-20 years. If your AC has been running for that period, it’s time for replacement. After all, modern units now are more energy efficient.
Outdoor AC fan not working
This was already discussed earlier (faulty electrical connections might be causing the issue). Perhaps the AC is pulling in too much electricity for your system. This causes overloading which then leads for the circuit breaker to trip (stop the flow of electricity).
Why would the AC draw in too much power? Here are some of the reasons:
- Refrigerant leaks (puts additional strain to the unit which may lead to overheating)
- Clogged air filters (this may also lead to overheating)
- Dirty condenser coil (heat won’t be released effectively which puts additional strain to your unit)
Although the outdoor fan is considered a separate unit, its proper functioning still depends on proper electrical connections and perfectly working AC parts. The parts are often interdependent on another, which is why an issue in one would cause problems to another.
For example, clogged air filters might make the evaporator coils to freeze. Or, an outdoor fan not running at all will cause heat build-up in your indoor unit (which will make the AC work harder and consume more electricity).
The additional strain will then affect the electrical demands of your AC. Moreover, it will shorten the unit’s useful lifespan (especially if the issue occurs frequently). The coils, valves, motor and compressor will experience constant wear and tear.
What is wrong with my air conditioner?
To summarise, dirty filters and coils, leaking refrigerant (or low refrigerant) and faulty electrical are the common causes. These things will make your AC not working at all (or make cooling ineffective).
These issues would be easily prevented through timely and prompt maintenance. For example, the filters should be cleaned every 30 days. The dust should be removed through washing or vacuum cleaning. The evaporator and condenser coils should be cleaned once a year. Aside from preventing AC issues, these maintenance tasks will ensure optimum energy efficiency of your unit.
Refrigerant leaks might be because of loose connections and wear and tear. These should be fixed right away to prevent it from damaging the compressor and your whole unit. After all, leaks might make the unit to overwork or even harm human health.
Faulty electrical connections are also common reasons for a failing AC. The proper operation of air conditioners largely depends on a reliable electrical network. If it’s faulty or there’s a power surge every now and then, there will be additional strain to the compressor and other AC parts.
How to fix air conditioner problems?
You have two options:
- Do it yourself (figure out the problem, gather the tools and do the repairs)
- Let a professional technician do it
The DIY approach is good for simple cases such as (thermostat not set to cool, dirty air filter). But for advanced cases such as leaking coolant and frozen coils, expertise is required to solve the issue.
For instance, here at Conduct Air Conditioning our technicians use advanced tools to detect leaks and check the performance of compressor and other AC parts. We thoroughly inspect the unit to rule out the potential issues. Once we figured out the root cause of the problem, we use quality tools and parts to ensure your AC will be working perfectly again.
You can also schedule a monthly or annual maintenance of your AC to further your unit’s lifespan. This way it’s guaranteed that your AC remains energy efficient and all the parts inside are in top condition.
Air conditioner issues and how to solve them
Whether your unit’s blowing warm air or it doesn’t turn on at all, our expert technicians here at Conduct Air Conditioning will fix it for you. We observe all safety, health and environmental precautions whenever we repair air conditioners.
Contact us today (call us at 02 9708 5889) if you require a fast professional service to make your air conditioner working perfectly again. We service Sydney homes and businesses.