Whether you rely on your air conditioner to keep you toasty warm on a windy winter’s eve or wonderfully cool at the peak of a brutally hot summer, one thing’s for certain. Air conditioners are a blessing. They’re not so great though if they are leaking, not heating or cooling, starting to emit an unpleasant odour or making a great deal of noise!
Unfortunately, like all appliances, your air conditioner won’t last forever so keeping it well maintained and regularly serviced is a must. But how do you know when to call in the experts? Here are the top 6 air conditioning issues.
#1 – The unit is short cycling or has air flow problems
It’s relatively normal for air conditioning units to cycle on and off in order to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. However, if it is ‘short cycling’, in other words it has a tendency to switch on and off randomly or more frequently, then you probably need to get it seen to. Short cycling can put extra stress on your system and can cause it to fail completely if the issue is not addressed early enough.
Another one of the air conditioning problems worth investigating is if you notice a significant decrease in airflow during operation, which may be due to an issue with the compressor. And if your air conditioner’s just not working at all and there are no issues with your home’s safety switches or wiring, then it’s worth calling in an air conditioning professional to get to the bottom of the issue.
#2 – The unit is blowing air that’s either too hot or too cold
One of the most common air conditioner issues is units that are producing air that’s inconsistent with the settings you have chosen. Air conditioners are meant to provide a consistent air temperature, and while occasionally you might experience some warm air on a cool setting (and vice versa), if your system stops producing cool or warm air when you need it, it could be due to a range of issues. These include a damaged thermostat sensor, low refrigerant levels, or damaged or obstructed valves, coils or condensation drains.
It’s also important that your system’s filters are cleaned and/or replaced regularly. Air conditioners effectively work by pulling cool air into the unit and pushing warm air out – all the while filtering debris and dust from the air. Failure to keep your filters clean will create a noisy system, it can decrease its productivity and lead to negative health issues like allergies and asthma.
#3 – The unit is leaking water or refrigerant
A small amount of water or condensation dripping from your outdoor unit is relatively normal, however if you notice a leak or a sudden increase in condensation coming from your indoor unit, it’s time to call in the experts. This is not only because water and electricity aren’t a good combination, but unusual moisture around an air conditioner can also be due to leaking refrigerant.
Air conditioning repairs due to refrigerant leaks should only ever be handled by a professional due to the health risks it poses, particularly to the environment. If it leaks into the atmosphere, a single kilo of R410a (which is one of the most commonly-used refrigerants in air conditioners) can cause as much environmental damage as running your car for six months non-stop!
#4 – The unit is noisy or emitting strange smells
In terms of air conditioning issues, unusual odours coming from your unit can be due to a number of things. Blocked drainage pipes can cause water build-up that can lead to mildew, mould or fungi growth which can circulate contaminated air throughout your home. Strange smells can also be due to filters needing replacing, smells being drawn in from outside of the house, or dead animals like birds, mice, lizards or possums in your system.
Fully functioning air conditioners should operate almost silently, so noise changes can also indicate the need for repairs including cleaning or replacing parts or re-affixing internal mechanisms. More unusual sounds like grinding, grating, banging, rattling or screeching can be an indicator of more serious issues such as a dislodged fan belt or damaged motor bearings.
#5 – Your energy bills have dramatically increased
Even if your air conditioner seems to be functioning normally, one of the tell tale signs your unit may need some air conditioning repairs is if you notice sudden spikes in your energy bill.
If you undertake an ‘energy audit’ and realise your unit is to blame, it is obviously working inefficiently. This could be due to air vents or filters that need replacing or there are knots or lumps in the condensing coil. Or it may just be that your air conditioner has become sluggish and it’s time for a new one!
#6 – The unit require frequent repairs
The last of the most common air conditioner issues you may need to face is if your unit needs constant and frequent repairs. This is not only inefficient, but it is also uneconomical, and can mean you are spending money on a household item that simply needs to be replaced. In order to keep your unit in tip-top shape and negate the need for all-too-frequent service calls, your air conditioning system should be regularly maintained by a professional.
This will assist in prolonging its life, ensure it works all year round and help address any issues that may become larger problems. Air conditioning service technicians will normally measure air flow and motor efficiency, check the refrigerant charge, check for leaks and breaks, and clean and repair ductwork, the condenser and/or evaporator coils if needed. That’s where we come in!
Is it time you had your air conditioner serviced? Contact Crown Power today on 0427 175 654 (Brisbane & Sunshine Coast) or on 0409 678 803 (Gold Coast).