Quick Tips for Solving Common Air Conditioning Problems
- Check and/or replace your air filters every month. Set calendar and phone reminders and always have backups available. Consider using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters for better indoor air quality. Changing your air filters improves comfort, lowers energy costs, and extends the life of your unit.
- Have annual system maintenance service performed at least once a year, preferably before the start of each heating and cooling season.
- Keep your outdoor condensing unit (heat pump) free of lawn clippings, twigs, and other debris. You want to make sure that your outdoor A/C unit has proper airflow to work efficiently.
- Maintain a minimum 24-inch clearance around the unit and ensure easy access for your local HVAC technician.
- Bent condensing unit fins can be straightened out with a fin comb. You can use a flathead screwdriver or butter knife, however, we recommend investing in a professional fin comb. For best results, call Boulden Brothers to clean and maintain your outdoor heat pump for maximum efficiency.
Common Air Conditioning Problems and How to Fix Them
Problem #1: Water leaking into the floors, walls, or ceilings
- Your A/C unit should never be leaking water. Address the problem immediately. A/C units don’t just cool the air, they dehumidify it also, but where does all that condensate go? For most homes, the water goes outside through a pipe.
- The problem is almost always due to a clogged condensation drain. Inspect your drain line and make sure condensation can drain freely.
- This can be done by calling in a professional, or you can try to DIY it by hooking up a wet/dry vac to the outside end of the pipe.
- Read this how-to guide from energyvanguard.com to learn how to clear your A/C drain pipe:
Problem #2: Air conditioning unit short cycles (cycles on and off)
- Your air conditioning unit is meant to turn on and off in order to maintain a cool and comfortable home, however, sometimes systems go through unusually fast and frequent cycles due to a variety of causes.
- One of the most common causes is an improperly sized HVAC system. Unfortunately, over half of all new HVAC systems are improperly installed, mostly due to installing the wrong-sized unit.
- Another common culprit is iced-over evaporator coils. This will cause your unit to turn off shortly after it has turned on.
- You may be able to fix the problem yourself by replacing your dirty A/C filter. There are several reasons why an evaporator coil might freeze over, one of the biggest ones being a dirty or improperly installed air filter.
- Because it is hard to tell what exactly is causing your A/C evaporator coil to freeze, it’s best to turn your air conditioner unit off (to thaw the evaporator coil) and call in an expert to diagnose the issue.
- These common air conditioning problems require the skill of a professional. Call your local HVAC technician to inspect your HVAC system and do the necessary cleanings and/or repairs.
- Change your air filter.
- Clear and clean area around outdoor condensing unit for proper airflow.
- Consider creating shade for your outdoor heat pump. This will help you unit run more efficiently and lower your utility bills.
- Find and seal air leaks in your ductwork and around your home.
- Replace any aging or deteriorating insulation.
- Learn how to install refrigeration piping insulation here. This DIY project requires several tools and products that you may not have and careful application. For properly installed A/C insulation guaranteed, call Boulden Brothers.
More pro tips on combatting common air conditioning problems:
- Air Conditioning FAQ
- 7 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer
- What You Don’t Know About Air Conditioning Efficiency
- Keep Your Home Cool Without Blasting the A/C
- How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner in the Summer