Having an unexpected AC problem in the middle of the summer can be a difficult thing to deal with. Although this can be a huge inconvenience there may be a way to fix this on your own. Here are a few suggestions to try if your AC is having problems.
Common AC Problems And Possible Solutions To Fix Them
Some minor AC problems can be fixed on your own at home. Other more complex repairs will need an HVAC professional to complete the job.
Blowing Hot Air
If you just got home from being out in the heat all day an AC that blows hot air can be frustrating. But there may be a quick repair that you can do yourself to solve the problem.
Replace dead or low batteries in your thermostat and make sure that the thermostat settings are correct. If it isn’t set properly, reset it. If the problem continues then double-check your circuit breaker and make sure it hasn’t tripped. You can restart it by turning it on and then off.
Unpleasant Smells and Strange Sounds
If a strange smell starts when you turn on your AC but goes away quickly it is usually caused because your air conditioning system has not been run in some time. Before you turn it on make sure that it has been cleaned. If you are smelling a burning or gas smell contact a professional as soon as you can.
Hearing weird sounds coming from your AC unit usually indicate a bigger issue such as electrical problems. Getting an inspection done by an HVAC professional is highly recommended.
Leak Around the System
As your AC system is cooling down your home or space it is also removing moisture from the air. Leaks on the outside or inside of your AC unit indicate that maintenance should take place. However, one common cause of a leaky AC is a clogged drain.
Inspect your AC unit to ensure the components are in working order. Make sure that the condensate drain line is free from clogs or blockages and that the condensate pump is removing water as it should be.
Unit Isn’t Turning On
If your AC system refuses to turn on the best thing to try is to follow the same steps as above for when an AC is blowing hot air.
For your air conditioner to function properly, warm air has to be able to reach the coil. Occasionally there will be a build up of dirt and debris that causes your coil to not receive that air and freeze.
First, ensure that your AC unit has been disconnected. This will allow the coil to defrost. While it is thawing, inspect the inside of your unit. If there are any signs of debris and dirt buildup, clean all areas.
Unit Cycles On and Off
You can cause damage to your AC’s compressor and fan if you turn your AC on and off many times over a short period of time. This is because it stresses the unit and makes the components work harder every time the AC is turned on.
Since acid can build up which can be dangerous, this problem is best handled by an HVAC professional that can give your unit a tune-up in the process.
If you’re feeling hot and cold drafts throughout your home, you most likely have weak airflow. Weak airflow can be caused by a variety of reasons including, dirty air filters, the vents being blocked by furniture and appliances, low refrigerant, and leaking ducts.
Check your thermostat and if it appears to be faulty, recalibrate it. If you’re still noticing airflow problems, then ensure that your air filters are changed or cleaned and that no vents are being blocked.
Replacement vs. Repair: What to Consider
If your air conditioning system is having problems, you may be considering a replacement. Keep in mind these few things when deciding if a repair or replacement is best for you.
Unit Has Reached its Lifespan
As with all appliances, air conditioners have a max service life. Newer, modern models usually last 15-20 years while older models will last about 10-12 years. If you believe your AC system is past its service life, it may be time to get a replacement.
Monthly Cost of Energy Bills
If your AC unit is having trouble performing it can cause your energy bill to skyrocket. This is because it’s taking up more energy and needs to work harder to produce results. Contacting an HVAC professional will help you decide if a replacement or repair is necessary.
Cost of Repair vs. Replacing Your AC System
The cost of a replacement vs repair may be your biggest question. The average cost for a replacement AC unit is $2,500-$15,000 while the cost for repairs is much lower. They range from $100-$900 depending on if your unit is a central or mini-split system.
The team at Sierra Air is here to help you diagnose that unexpected AC problem. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!