5 Common Causes of Air Conditioning Malfunctions

A functional air conditioning system provides comfortable indoor temperatures and good air quality. If your AC has underlying issues, schedule for air conditioning service immediately. A qualified technician can check your cooling unit and fix it to restore proper functioning. Here are five common causes of air conditioning malfunctions:

Refrigerant Leaks

Low refrigerant levels can cause the evaporator coils to become cold, leading to condensation and ice formation on the coils. The ice formation restricts airflow, reduces cooling capacity, and damages the compressor and evaporator coils. When refrigerant levels are too low, the outdoor condenser unit may overheat as it tries to compensate for the insufficient refrigerant. 

Constant overheating can damage the compressor and fan motor, contributing to AC system failure. During an air conditioning service, a skilled technician uses UV dye, electronic leak detectors, or pressure tests to detect refrigerant leaks. After finding the leak, the expert solders or brazes the damaged area and replaces a faulty component.

Electrical Problems

Loose or damaged electrical connections, frayed wires, or shorts in the wiring can compromise AC operation or cause system failure. Damaged wires can touch each other or the system’s components, creating a short circuit, which causes the system to shut down. Relay and contactors are electrical components within the AC that turn different parts of the cooling system on and off. If relays or contactors fail, they can prevent the compressor and fan motors from functioning correctly, preventing the AC from turning on or off.

Air conditioning systems have circuit breakers or fuses to protect against electrical overloads. When the system draws too much current, it can lead to blown fuses or tripped breakers, leading to AC breakdowns. If capacitors fail, their control motors may not start or run properly, leading to inefficient operation or no cooling. A licensed technician or electrician can diagnose and repair electrical problems within your AC.

Thermostat Issues

A malfunctioning thermostat may not respond to changes in settings, making it difficult to adjust the temperature or mode. You might be unable to turn the AC on or off, change the fan speed, or switch between cooling and heating modes. Thermostats with poor calibration can’t activate the AC system when they should, causing discomfort in your living space.

Some thermostats are battery-powered, and the thermostat may not function properly if the batteries are weak or dead. Battery issues in the thermostat can result in losing control over the AC system. A qualified technician can replace the batteries, reprogram the thermostat, or replace a malfunctioning thermostat to boost functioning.

Duct Problems

The ductwork is responsible for delivering cooled air from your AC unit to different rooms in your home. When ducts are compromised, it can lead to various AC malfunctions and performance issues. Leaky ducts can cause your AC to run longer to compensate for the lost air, leading to premature wear and tear.

Contaminants can block the ducts and restrict airflow, causing short cycling, which means the AC turns on and off frequently without completing an entire cooling cycle. Short cycling reduces efficiency and wears out the AC components faster. If your ductwork has issues, hire a technician to seal the leaks, clean the component, and replace it if it’s damaged.

Drainage Mishaps

Drainage problems in your air conditioning system can result from a clogged or damaged condensate drain line. When the condensate drain line is clogged, excess moisture accumulates in the air handler or evaporator coil, reducing AC efficiency. Prolonged exposure to moisture can damage components in the air handler, potentially requiring costly repairs or replacements.

The drain line can develop cracks or leaks due to age, corrosion, or physical damage, disrupting the AC system’s operation. For damaged drain lines, it may be necessary to repair or replace the line to boost proper drainage. An AC technician can clean and unclog the drain line using specialized tools and cleaning solutions. 

Schedule an Appointment for Air Conditioning Service

During air conditioning service, a qualified technician inspects the AC system for underlying problems. The expert can clean clogged components, repair some parts, and replace malfunctioning components. After performing maintenance and inspections, the technician can test the system to determine if it is operating efficiently. Book an appointment for quality AC service.

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