It’s officially summer, and your air conditioner will stay busy for the next couple of months. We all face AC troubles at one point or another, and a lot of these issues are relatively common. While it can be frustrating and worrying to not have your AC working, it can help to know what to look for so you have an idea of what issue your unit may be having. We’ve compiled a list of some of the common air conditioner issues we face to help you diagnose what may be going on and get a repair scheduled before the damage progresses.
Bad AC Contactor Symptoms
An AC contactor controls the flow of electricity to all parts of the unit. If the contactor is bad, the AC unit will lose its ability to adequately cool the home and may run continuously, even when the thermostat is turned off. A bad AC contactor can be identified by physical signs of deterioration, also known as pitting. Pitting occurs when the contactor has encountered extreme voltage and heat. A pitted contactor tends to stick, causing a continuous flow of electricity to the unit.
Another visible sign is a burned contactor which is likely the result of wire insulation breaking down over time, which can eventually lead to electrical failure. Pests and debris could also be the culprit of a bad contactor by not allowing an electrical connection, therefore causing mechanical failure. The good news is that a bad AC contactor fits in the “repair” category, something we handle frequently at Wyckoff Heating & Cooling.
Is Your AC Unit Making Noise?
Like a car, when you start hearing abnormal noises, you know an issue is at hand. Noticing the type of noise is key to identifying which component of the compressor may need attention.
Banging or knocking
The blower fan may be loose or there could be an obstruction causing the banging and knocking. If you notice this noise, turn your air conditioner off and schedule maintenance. The fix should be fairly straight-forward, but continuing to run the air conditioner with these symptoms could make matters worse.
Grinding or screeching
A grinding or screeching noise is a sign that the motor bearings need to be replaced. Don’t run the unit unless you absolutely have to and get an appointment scheduled as soon as possible for a proper replacement.
When your air conditioner squeals, the fan belt is out of alignment or worn down. While the AC unit can continue to run, a broken belt means you won’t have any cool air coming through! A replacement is necessary.
If your unit makes a clicking noise and won’t run there are likely electrical issues. A thermostat, compressor, or capacitor is likely the culprit.
Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air
Dirty air filter
The most basic, yet most neglected, HVAC fix is the air filter. As dust and dirt build up on the filter, your HVAC system will lose efficiency. During the summertime, this can cause warm air to blow through the vents. Be sure to check the filter regularly and replace it every one to three months. This will help distribute cool, clean air and maximize energy efficiency.
When debris builds up on your AC’s evaporator fins, it acts as a wool blanket restricting proper airflow. The air conditioning unit must work harder to cool the air when the fins are damaged or have debris buildup. If you have replaced your filter and continue to have warmer air, it may be time to spray down the air conditioner unit or remove debris.
Plants and shrubs placement
Many homeowners view their AC unit as an eyesore and will try to boost their curb appeal with landscaping. It is important to keep an adequate clearance of one to two feet on all sides of the outdoor AC unit. When plants and shrubs are placed too close to the unit, airflow can be restricted which will force your system to work harder. Give your air conditioner room to breathe and do its job to cool your home.
Frozen evaporator coils
There are many elements of an air conditioning system that can contribute to a frozen evaporator coil. Your unit’s response to this symptom will be to kick into overdrive to attempt to cool your home and satisfy the thermostat. A dirty filter can contribute to this, however, if you’ve replaced the filter and the issue persists, then it’s important to have a professional HVAC technician investigate further.
How to Diagnose Leaking Ducts?
If you notice a spike in energy bills, abnormally dusty spaces in your home, or lack of cooling in certain rooms, you may have a leaking duct. A porous duct will prohibit proper airflow and prevent your home from staying cool. The air escaping from the ductwork could cause problems in your walls, affect indoor air quality, and increase your energy bills.
The cold air leaking from your ducts into walls can meet with warm air from outside being pulled into the same space. The cool and warm air could form trapped mold and mildew in your walls eventually contaminating your home. Pinpointing a leaking duct can be like finding a Cyclone fan in Iowa City. Our technicians at Wyckoff Heating and Cooling have experience in locating and properly sealing faulty ductwork.
Schedule AC Service by Wyckoff Heating & Cooling
Early detection of air conditioner problems could reduce repair costs and will keep you comfortable in the heat of summer. An annual service check is a great way to ensure your air conditioner is functioning as it should. Gain Peace of Mind with Wyckoff Heating & Cooling by signing up for our HVAC maintenance service.