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How to Troubleshoot 5 Common Air Conditioning Problems

air conditioning problems

Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities, and one of the high priorities on this list is keeping your air conditioner running when it is 100-degrees outside. Cates Heating and Cooling doesn’t want you to waste your money on unnecessary service calls when you could handle the problems yourself. Here are five common air conditioner problems that you can fix yourself.

1.     The Air Isn’t Cold

There could be a few different reasons that the air coming out of your air conditioner isn’t cold. One easy fix could be the air filter. If the filter hasn’t been changed within the last couple months, you should go ahead and change it. Next, double check that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. If you don’t start to notice a difference, it could be something else.

Your next step should be to inspect the area around your air conditioner to make sure that there is no debris or vegetation in the way. Bushes and plants should be kept at least two feet away from the unit. All leaves that fall on the unit should be removed. If there are any refrigerant leaks, you should call an HVAC expert to help fix the problem.

2.     No Air Comes Out

In the event that your air conditioner stops working unexpectedly, the first step is to check the batteries in the thermostat. If the batteries are dead, just switch them out and see if the unit starts to work properly. If the batteries aren’t dead, you should double check to make sure that the thermostat is on the cooling mode and at the correct temperature. If the thermostat isn’t the problem, you need to check the circuit breaker to make sure it is in the “on” position. You will need to call an HVAC technician for help if none of these solutions fixes the problem.

3.     The Unit Cools Unevenly

Temperature fluctuations don’t have to be normal. When the temperature starts to fluctuate, you should first check that all the vents in your home are open, clean, and unobstructed. Blocked vents and registers can lead to uneven cooling, as can ductwork leaks and poor insulation.

You might notice that rooms with south-facing windows are warmer than other rooms in your home. Using blackout curtains during the hottest time of the day can help keep out the heat. In the event that the curtains don’t keep out the heat, you can have a professional come out and install separate zoning systems in your home so that you can control the temperatures in specific areas of your home.

4.     Water Drips Out of the Unit

Condensation build-up on your air conditioner can lead to a number of problems. When water starts dripping from your air conditioner, you need to check the condensate line to see if it is clogged. To fix a clogged condensate line, you need to flush it out using compressed air.

If refrigerant is leaking from your unit, your home will start to feel warmer, and it could even cause ice to build-up over the coils and drip water. Frozen coils are an indication of airflow issues because of a dirty air filter or obstructed return air ductwork. During inspection, if you notice that any part of the air conditioner is frozen, you need to turn the unit off and allow it to defrost on its own. Then, you need to call an HVAC technician.

5.     The Unit Makes Strange Noises

If there are strange noises coming out of your air conditioner, it is time to investigate. You may have a faulty belt or motor bearing if the noise is a screeching or squealing sound. You can try to add a little lubricant to the oil port to solve the problem.

Banging, clanging, rattling, or thumping noises could mean that there is a problem with the motor or blower assembly. If you believe that this is the problem, you need to turn the system off and call an HVAC technician.

Smacking noises when the blower is running could signify that something is stuck in the blower blades or the housing surrounding the blower. To fix it, turn the system off and look for the debris. Removing the debris should make the noise go away.

If you hear a clicking sound when your unit turns on and off, you probably have a problem with the relay. A rattling sound that starts when the fan turns the compressor on could be due to a failing motor or loose hardware, which requires a professional HVAC technician.

If your air conditioner’s problems are more serious than any of the five problems listed above, you can contact Cates Heating and Cooling for help. Our technicians can come out and inspect your air conditioner to find out the source of the problem. To schedule an appointment, call Cates today at 913-888-4470.

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