If you fail to keep up with a base level amount of cleaning and maintenance throughout the year, you may find yourself running into some issues as your AC works overtime to keep your house at a comfortable temperature when the heat levels outside are soaring.
Luckily, if your air conditioner does start acting up, there are a few extremely common and easy to fix culprits that you can handle yourself before having to call in a professional. Most solutions can be quite easy, but there are some problems that arise that require professional help.
6 Common Air Conditioning Issues and How to Fix Them
Below are some tips and tricks to figure out what’s wrong with your air conditioner before calling an HVAC specialist or replacing your unit all together:
Your air conditioning filter needs to be cleaned or replaced
Checking your air filter often is one of the best and easiest ways to ensure that your AC unit will continue to be in great working condition. Having a dirty air filter in your air conditioner is the #1 cause of a malfunctioning AC. Old filters can restrict air flow, decrease cooling and affect the AC’s overall efficiency.
Most air filters last between 3 and 12 months depending on the thickness, where you live and how much you use your unit. Certain factors, such as owning a dog that sheds a lot and often, will cause your filter to need to be replaced more often. Ideally, you should be checking your air filter 3 or 4 times a year and replacing it and/or cleaning at least one of those times.
You’re in need of an air conditioning annual check up
If you notice your AC is working fine, but not great, it’s probably time to call in an HVAC professional to do a full service maintenance on your unit.
Catching a small problem early on can halt any issues from becoming more serious over time. An HVAC technician can inspect your AC head to toe and give it all the TLC it needs to continue working properly for you and your home.
Your condenser is crowded
Your condenser, located outside of your home, needs space to properly push cool air through and into your living space. It’s important to regularly trim back any debris or brush that may be obstructing your condenser and the area directly around it.
There should always be 3 feet of space around your condenser and no hanging branches or leaves less than 5 feet above it.
Your thermostat is set incorrectly
Double check your thermostat before calling a professional. If you have central AC, you could be experiencing warmer temperatures indoors if the thermostat is set incorrectly or if it is sitting in direct sunlight.
Your registers are dirty
If your home has forced air heating and cooling then it’s important to always make sure that your registers are free of dust and debris. Any furniture or items sitting in front of your registers could also affect its efficiency.
Take a rag or vacuum and carefully clean them out and see if your unit performs more consistently.
How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner So It Lasts Longer
Below are 5 easy at home steps you can take to keep your AC in working order all year round:
- Routinely replace or clean your filters
- Clean your AC’s coils at least once a year
- Take care of your coil fins by purchasing a “fin comb” to fix bent coils
- Prevent clogged drain channels by poking a stiff wire through the drain hole
- Inspect window seals to ensure no warm air is getting in
When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?
Air conditioners typically last about sixteen years. While some AC’s last longer, it is common to find that replacing your unit can be more cost effective and efficient than dragging out your old one.
If your air conditioner has stopped working for an unknown reason, or it simply just isn’t working the way it used to, calling an HVAC professional to come take a look at your unit can help you get a better understanding of whether you should repair or replace it.
Keep an eye out for high humidity in your home, more expensive than normal energy bills, and frequent breakdowns. There are all signs that it may be a better idea to replace your AC rather than repair it.
Call Paragon To See How Your AC is Performing
Paragon Heating and Home Comfort Solutions is a local HVAC contractor to the Snohomish & East King County areas. We specialize in heating and cooling solutions to ensure your units are working properly when you need them.
Whether you need a repair, installation, or a simple maintenance check up, Paragon is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced technicians!