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Avoidable AC Problems

AC Problems
Reading Time: 4 minutes

With our sweltering South Florida heat, an air conditioner is a major convenience that makes our daily lives bearable. Unfortunately, despite its necessity, many homeowners don’t properly maintain their system. This often results in emergency calls to an HVAC technician for both basic and serious AC problems.

HVAC technicians have found that most homeowners are not familiar with the components of the AC, how they fit together, or how the AC functions. Often, due to user negligence, AC problems occur that could’ve easily been prevented.

Eight Avoidable AC Problems

Due to the nature of its work, and the numerous components it contains, the AC needs to be cleaned and serviced regularly. Technicians find that apart from neglecting regular maintenance, most air conditioners malfunction due to issues that could have been avoided:

  • The Room Is Not Properly Insulated

    An air conditioner is only able to control the room temperature if there is no outside air interference. Open windows and doors allow the hot outside air in, while also allowing the cool air to escape. This makes life very difficult for the AC to regulate the temperature and puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the system.

  • AC Too Close To Heat Generating Appliances

    Some large appliances generate a lot of heat. Placing the AC near these appliances forces it to work harder in an attempt to keep the room cool.

    A solution to this dilemma is two-fold:

    • Move the appliances to another area of the home or;
    • Switch the AC off while these appliances are operating
  • Holes In The Ductwork

    Tears or snags in the ductwork will result in the cold air, intended for the room, getting trapped in the walls. This not only forces the AC to work harder to control the room temperature. Additionally, it will also cause an increase in your electrical bill. Regular maintenance of the air conditioner and ducts will eliminate this problem.

  • Leaking Refrigerant

    Refrigerant kick-starts the air conditioner’s cooling system. If the refrigerant is leaking, the AC will not be able to reach the set temperature and cool the room effectively. Regular air conditioner maintenance ensures that refrigerant levels are where they should be and that there is no presence of a leak.

  • The AC Is Dirty

    Not surprisingly, a dirty AC will struggle to function effectively. Several components need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure the AC cools the air to the set temperature.

    Regular maintenance and cleaning must be carried out on:

    • The outdoor condenser
    • The evaporator coils
    • The outer casing of the unit
    • The AC filter; some filters can be cleaned while others may need replacing
    • The registers in the home; these must be cleaned regularly and left open
    • If the AC has an outdoor compressor, you need to ensure that:
      • Any plants or trees are at least two to three feet away from the unit;
      • It’s kept clear of debris or leaves
  • Clogged Drain Line

    Without regular maintenance and cleaning, the drain line will clog with dust and particles, causing the pan to fill up with water and eventually leak. The leaking water will damage the unit over time, and anything around it. This can result in some very costly repairs.

    Pro tip: You can clean your air conditioner’s drain line with distilled white vinegar in five easy steps!

    • Turn off your air conditioner: Make sure to do this at the thermostat and the main circuit breaker.
    • Locate the drain line: Your condensate line is a visible PVC pipe, found near your outdoor unit; it’s typically attached to the wall of your home.
    • Find the entry point of the condensate line: Most drain lines will have a T-shaped vent covered by a cap; take the cap off at the top of the drain and check for any blockages.
    • Flush the drain line with ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar: Using distilled white vinegar is recommended because the high levels of acidity accentuate its cleaning properties. If you don’t have any white vinegar or don’t fancy the smell, you can also use ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide or hot water with just a drop of quality dish soap like Dawn®.
    • Let the vinegar solution sit unbothered for 30 minutes: After this, flush the PVC pipe with water, if it worked, the water should flow freely.

    For the best results, experts recommend cleaning your AC condensate line every 30 days.

  • Faulty Thermostat

    Thermostats determine the temperature of the air around them and will activate the AC to cool the room to the desired temperature. If the air conditioner does not seem to be cooling the room, it could be a simple matter of:

    • Checking that the thermostat is not in the sun
    • Checking that the thermostat has not been bumped and is set to a hotter temperature
    • Ensuring that the thermostat is clean and able to detect the temperature accurately
  • Other Electrical Issues

    Fuses, wiring, and breakers in the main electrical panel also succumb to wear and tear. Regular inspection and maintenance of the main panel and electrical circuit will ensure that the HVAC functions as it should.

Problems With Your AC? Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric Are Waiting For Your Call!

Are you suffering in the heat because of a faulty air conditioning system? Look no further, help is here! Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric have been the HVAC specialists of choice in South Florida since 1983.

Don’t let your AC make you hot under the collar, our licensed and experienced HVAC technicians are available Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays for any emergency. Give Art a call at 1-800-475-1504 or check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube today!


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