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8 Common Air Conditioning System Faults

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air conditioner repair

air conditioner repair

We all trust in the performance of our air conditioning systems. However, sometimes things do go wrong. And that’s when the panic kicks in. Hot days without air conditioning are unbearable.

Thankfully the solution to any common air conditioning fault is typically straightforward. Only on rare occasions will a full replacement be required. Now, if you are unsure about the severity of the problem, it’s all good. Here are eight common HVAC system faults and the most likely course of action for each.

1. Air Conditioning Turning Off and On

A short cycling AC is the last thing anyone wants in summer. And if your air con keeps turning off and on, your patience is probably wearing thin. It could also be damaging the compressor, leading to some costly repairs.

Short cycling occurs when your air conditioner does not complete a full cooling cycle. The compressor is stopping prematurely without a proper shut off. It means your home isn’t cooling down and the compressor is working harder and harder without completing its main task.

Common causes of short cycling range from a blocked filter to leaking refrigerant. An air conditioner that’s too big or too small for a space can also short cycle. Whatever the fault, book a service. Stop-start cooling is a problem that needs to be addressed before you have to replace the system entirely.


2. The HVAC Not Turning On At All

If a stop-start air conditioner is frustrating, a dead unit is even worse. You want to feel instant comfort on a hot summer’s day, but you can’t when the AC just doesn’t start-up.

Some of the most likely causes include malfunctioning electrics, loose wiring or a faulty thermostat. However, given the most likely cause is the wiring, your best bet is to contact a licensed AC technician or electrician.

At least 30,000 Americans are injured every year attempting DIY electrical repairs, while 1,000 are killed by electrocution. You do not want to put yourself in harm’s way when your air conditioner won’t turn on. Leave the electrical fault finding to the qualified experts.


3. There’s No Cool Air

What if your AC is pumping out warm air, or just isn’t blowing any air at all? It might be the end of the line for the system, or, some handy repairs could solve the problem.

For example, the thermostat could be malfunctioning. That means it needs to be repaired or replaced because it’s struggling to control the temperature output. Even a busted fan could be to blame as airflow is restricted or reduced.

Only in a worst case scenario would a full replacement be required if your air con is blowing warm air. Typically that’s the best outcome for older units.


4. Refrigerant Leaks and Water Leaks

Signs of a leaking air conditioner are never good. It means your unit could be compromised inside and out with refrigerant or water to blame.

Moisture around an air conditioner is not abnormal. Condensation is created by the heating or cooling process. However, there should be a drainage tube that safely removes excess water. Any leakage in the air conditioner system is a sign of damaged pipes. This could well lead to water or electrical damage.

Meanwhile, refrigerant can also leak from a burst or split pipe. Leaking refrigerant in an air conditioner can cause external freezing, while the liquid itself is poisonous if consumed. Your air conditioner will also not be able to properly cool air.


5. Frozen Pipes and Coils

Outdoor air conditioning units are susceptible to freezing around the evaporator coil. This is where refrigerant is housed and warm air is removed. However, if there is a blockage or leak, warm air cannot flow over the cool refrigerant. Therefore, the AC unit cannot perform and the evaporator coil and pipes will freeze.

Often the simplest solution is to clean the vents and filters for improved airflow. Long term freezing, or recurring issues, could be a sign of additional work and repairs.

air conditioner repair maintenance pipe

air conditioner repair maintenance pipe

6. Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Electrical faults are a serious air conditioning problem. Therefore, when your unit keeps tripping, call in an electrician.

Poor installation, faulty wiring, overloaded circuits or a damaged fuse box. They’re all common air conditioning faults. Each one is easy to identify and a professional hand can tackle the repairs with ease.

Remember, take no shortcuts with electrical components. You do not want to worsen the situation.


7. Strange Air Conditioner Smells

Is there a funky smell coming from your air vents? Are your nostrils tingling with a burning odor? It’s time to investigate your HVAC system.

Some mold and bacteria produce strong smells that can impact your health. Typically it’s a musty, damp or unclean odor you can’t quite put your finger on. But if there is any mold or moisture inside your air con, chances are, the smell is wafting through your home.

Additionally, electrical faults can create a burning odor, even if there is no true fire. The slight tones of singed wiring is an urgent sign that your air conditioning fault is set to worsen sooner or later.


8. Unexplained Operation Sounds

Banging, rattling, ringing. Any number of sounds could come out of your air conditioner if there’s an internal fault.

Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause. Worn out fan belts cause squeaking sounds, while a damaged fan leads to banging or irregular whirring. Loose fittings in a ducted system will cause vents to rattle and bang when air flows through them.

Ultimately, you can monitor your air con closely to find the noise yourself. The issue could be obvious, which makes personal repairs simple. For something hidden, or tougher to spot, you will want to call in a HVAC expert. A fault finding service will be the best way to uncover the exact air conditioning fault.







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