It can be frustrating when your home's air conditioner fails on a hot day, leaving you to sweat while trying to figure out the problem. The following are three common reasons that AC systems fail, along with some tips on how to remedy the problems.
1. Thermostat Problems
Often, the problem with a malfunctioning air conditioner is actually with the thermostat. Try turning the thermostat down all the way to see if that forces the air conditioner to come on. If it does, then your thermostat needs to be recalibrated or replaced. You can also use a multimeter to verify that the thermostat is getting power. If it isn't, there is an electrical failure. This failure is most likely in the thermostat, which can be replaced, but an HVAC technician can verify that the issue isn't in your home's wiring or with the fuse box.
2. Condenser Issues
Dirty condenser coils can lead to poor performance and freezing up. If your AC runs but cools poorly, or if you notice ice on the unit, then the condenser is likely to blame. The coils are on your outside unit, behind the vents or "fins." Bent fins and dirt affect how well your unit cools. You can wash coils off with a hose, or use a foaming condenser cleaning solution (available at hardware stores) to remove more stubborn dirt. Fin combs, also available at hardware stores, can be used to straighten any bent coils. If the unit continues to freeze up or perform poorly, an HVAC technician can perform further troubleshooting to find the root of the problem.
3. Blower Breakdown
Can you hear the AC try to cycle on, but cold air never seems to come from the vents? Then the issue is likely with the fan or blower motor. The blower assembly contains most of the moving parts of your AC system, so it is one of the most likely components to suffer a mechanical breakdown. Often, the problem may just be that the blower is in need of maintenance, which includes lubrication, repacking of any missing bearings, and the replacement of the belt if the AC is equipped with one. In more severe instances, the blower motor may require replacement or you may have a broken fan blade that needs to be replaced.
If you are tired of poor AC performance, contact Bud's Heating & Air Conditioning. There are even 24-hour services available if you can't wait for repair.