What To Know About Common Air Conditioner Problems

HVAC Technician Performing AC Maintenance in Milwaukee, WI

What To Know About Common Air Conditioner Problems

April 3, 2023

Temperature control is an important part of any home. Heating and cooling systems are the go-to way to keep the temperature just right, but what happens when something goes wrong? Knowing some common air conditioner problems can help you quickly identify and fix issues. Let’s take a look at five common air conditioner problems that can occur in your home.

1. Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is vital for your air conditioning unit to cool down your home. Let’s explore the causes of low refrigerant levels, the symptoms that suggest a leak, and professional solutions to help restore your air conditioning system to optimal performance.

  • Causes of Low Refrigerant Levels: There are several reasons why your AC system may have low refrigerant levels. The most common cause is a leak in the refrigerant lines. This can stem from corrupted, damaged or improperly installed lines. Another cause could be due to manufacturing errors. The AC unit might have been undercharged during production, meaning it was shipped with less refrigerant than required. Finally, subsequent servicing mistakes might also result in low refrigerant levels. For example, an HVAC technician might have accidentally released refrigerant during maintenance.
  • Symptoms of Low Refrigerant Levels: One of the most obvious signs is a decrease in the system’s cooling efficiency. It may take longer for the room to cool down or the air from the vents may not be as cold as it should be. Additionally, you may notice ice forming on the evaporator coil or the refrigerant lines, which can cause the unit to work harder. High energy bills indicate low refrigerant levels, as the AC system struggles to maintain a comfortable temperature. Lastly, if you hear a hissing or gurgling noise coming from your unit, this could be a sign of a refrigerant leak.
  • Professional Solutions: Once you suspect low refrigerant levels, contacting a professional HVAC technician for an inspection is important. Fixing the issue without proper training can lead to further damage and potentially void your warranty. After verifying the low refrigerant levels, a technician can perform the necessary repairs, including locating and sealing any leaks or replacing damaged lines.

2. Leaky Ductwork

Leaky ductwork is a common problem in many air conditioning systems and can seriously affect your home’s comfort.

  • Causes of Leaky Ductwork: Loose or misaligned joints can allow air to escape from your ducts, while gaps or holes in the walls or ceiling can also cause leaks. Improperly insulated ducts may also be at fault if they’re not properly sealed against outside temperatures. Additionally, older homes may have poorly designed duct systems that don’t provide enough insulation to reduce heat transfer through the walls and ceilings.
  • Symptoms of Leaky Ductwork: The most obvious symptom of a leaky ductwork system is an uncomfortable indoor temperature due to insufficient airflow from your vents. Other symptoms include higher-than-normal energy bills, loud noises coming from your air conditioner or heater, dust accumulation around your vents and strange odors coming from the vents when your AC is running.
  • Professional Solutions: The best way to fix a leaky ductwork system is by hiring an experienced HVAC technician who can properly diagnose and repair the issue. They will be able to identify any problems with your current setup, including any loose connections or insulation gaps causing air loss. They may also recommend additional insulation to keep indoor temperatures comfortable throughout the year.

3. Dirty Air Filters

The following are the causes and effects of dirty air filters and solutions for how to address this issue best.

  • Causes of Dirty Air Filters: A lack of regular maintenance causes dirty air filters. A dirty filter can cause dirt and dust to accumulate in your AC unit, leading to more serious problems. Additionally, suppose your home has pets or allergies. In that case, keeping the filter clean is even more important since pet dander and pollen can accumulate quickly in an unclean filter.
  • Symptoms of a Dirty Air Filter: The most common symptom of a dirty air filter is decreased airflow through your HVAC system. You may also notice that your AC unit is taking longer than usual to cool off your home or that certain areas are not cooling as efficiently as they should be. An increase in energy bills can also indicate something wrong with the air filter.
  • Professional Solutions: If you think your air filter needs replacing, it’s best to call a certified HVAC technician for help. They will be able to inspect the entire system and determine whether or not any other underlying issues are causing decreased airflow in your home. Once they have identified potential issues, they can suggest an appropriate solution.

4. Faulty Compressor Motor

The compressor motor helps circulate refrigerant through the system to cool the air. Unfortunately, compressor motors can often be faulty, leading to serious AC problems.

  • Causes of a Faulty Compressor Motor: The most common cause of a faulty compressor motor is overuse or age-related wear and tear. Since the motor has mechanical parts that are in constant motion when the AC is running, they can become worn out over time and eventually fail altogether. Additionally, if your AC is not being serviced regularly, dirt and debris can accumulate inside the system and cause damage to the motor.
  • Symptoms of a Faulty Compressor Motor: If your compressor motor is failing or has already failed, there are several symptoms you may notice that indicate something is wrong. These symptoms include loud noises from your AC unit, warm air blowing instead of cold air, and increased energy bills due to inefficient operation or visible damage to any electrical components inside the unit.
  • Professional Solutions for a Faulty Compressor Motor: Calling a professional HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair or replacement services is important. A professional technician will be able to diagnose the problem quickly and accurately so that they can recommend an effective solution for getting your AC up and running again with minimal disruption.

5. Malfunctioning Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat can be one of the most frustrating problems to deal with regarding your air conditioning (AC) system.

  • Causes of Malfunctioning Thermostat: The most common cause of a malfunctioning thermostat is inaccurate calibration. This means the thermostat setting may not accurately reflect the room temperature, resulting in an incorrect reading and failure to trigger the AC system at the right time. Another potential cause could be a faulty connection or wiring issue between the thermostat and AC unit or a defective thermostat.
  • Symptoms of Malfunctioning Thermostat: The most obvious symptom of a malfunctioning thermostat is when your AC unit fails to cool your home properly. This typically occurs because the thermostat cannot accurately detect the temperature inside the home or the ambient outdoor temperature. Adjusting the desired temperature setting on your AC unit may also be difficult due to a faulty thermostat.
  • Professional Solutions: A professional can inspect your system for any electrical problems such as corroded wiring or faulty components. They can also inspect your system’s insulation and replace worn-out parts to restore the proper functioning of your air conditioning system.

Call Professionals Today!

At Burkhardt Heating & AC Inc, we aim to ensure the highest quality of cooling, heating and indoor air quality services for homes and businesses across Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. Our full suite of services also includes duct cleaning for optimal air circulation. With our team of certified experts, you can trust that your home or business climate control needs are taken care of quickly and professionally. Call Burkhardt Heating & AC Inc today to learn more about our services.

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