The sun is out and the warmth is settling in here in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield (IL). As we know, the summer in our area offers us days when we can open the windows wide to let the air and sunlight in. It also gives us plenty of others when we can’t shut the windows and turn on the AC fast enough.
Ideally, we’ll make sure our cooling system has been cleaned and inspected before we really need it, such as on those days when we can start to sweat simply by stepping out of the house. Our air conditioners become as vital and welcome as a freshly poured glass of cold water.
The sound of the AC properly running can be music to our ears when we hear it steadily moving cool air through the vents. But what if it suddenly starts to sputter or, worse yet, it fails? The needle quickly scratches off the record.
As AC specialists serving Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield every day, we’re very familiar with what the most common AC problems can be. The following are five top issues that we see surface during summer, when the AC is working its hardest. We share this to help you remain an informed, proactive homeowner who saves money, time and inconvenience while staying comfortable all season long.
Top Air-Conditioning Issue: Always Running
You can expect the AC to run more than usual when it’s in the 80s or higher outside. At the same time, it should turn off periodically as it achieves its target indoor temperature.
If the AC is running without any pauses, check the air filter and replace it if needed. If the trouble persists, there could be something wrong with the thermostat, the compressor or other electrical parts and connections. The sooner you address the problem, the better you’ll protect vital system components while keeping utility bills under control.
Top Air-Conditioning Issue: No Cool Air
You’re eager to get out of the heat and into the air of your home. You step inside and hear air moving through the vents, but the space isn’t cooled – or, worse yet, maybe the blowing air is warm.
The first and easiest things you can do are:
check the air filter to see if it is dirty or clogged
check the thermostat to ensure batteries aren’t dead and the unit is set to COOL at the desired temperature
If that doesn’t resolve the situation, the system could be lacking refrigerant, which may also indicate a leak in the line. Visible markers of a leak can be liquid near the outdoor condenser coil and brightly colored stains around the AC unit.
If you see or suspect signs of low coolant, turn off the system and contact Air Dynamics. Running the system with insufficient refrigerant can damage the compressor, resulting in much more costly repair. A refrigerant leak also can be harmful to the environment.
In addition to low coolant, other causes of the AC not blowing cold air can be faulty ductwork and a worn blower belt. These items should be attended to promptly as well.
Top Air-Conditioning Issue: Tripping Circuit Breaker
Your system draws a lot of amps while it’s running. If the motor suddenly fails, the first thing an inspecting technician will do is check the circuit breaker, the fuse and the capacitor, which activates the AC’s motor and ensures power supply to the unit.
If the AC is straining to operate, it will generate extra heat. The circuit breaker will protect both the unit and your home from overheating and fire risk by tripping to shut off the power. A refrigerant leak, faulty electrical wiring or connections, or problems with the compressor are a few possible reasons that a system might draw too much current. Other causes can be improper AC installation or an incorrectly sized unit for the house.
Top Air-Conditioning Issue: Frozen Coils
We’ve already mentioned refrigerant in your cooling system. The refrigerant works in concert with the evaporator coils, which push cooled air into your house from the inside. They achieve this by transforming the refrigerant liquid into gas, a process that removes warm air from your home. However, if the coils become too cold, they can freeze and stop functioning, causing the system to fail.
Some regular causes of frozen evaporator coils are a refrigerant leak, a dirty air filter or an obstruction in the ducts, blower fan or condenser. You can help prevent this by changing the filter often during the summer. If you do notice or suspect an icy coil, let Air Dynamics know right away to help avoid costly system damage.
Top Air-Conditioning Issue: Thermostat
It might be small, but the thermostat is the control center that issues the commands the rest of the system obeys.
A faulty thermostat is one of the most common problems we diagnose and correct every summer. In our experience, the issue can range from dead batteries to loose, broken or corroded wires. A thermostat also might sometimes be miscalibrated. This can cause short-cycling in which the air conditioner turns on and off frequently.
Another potential issue is the placement of the thermostat sensor. If the sensor is in direct sunlight during hot summer days, it can supply the cooling system with improper readings. For this reason, a thermostat should be mounted to the wall in a shaded area, ideally in the room you occupy most often.
Other Possible Air-Conditioning Issues
Beyond the top items we’ve identified, issues we diagnose and resolve during summer include a failing blower fan, a faulty compressor and a clogged condensate drain.
In some cases, a system problem or breakdown also can result from simple old age. If your AC unit is around 12 years old or more, you might begin to anticipate the onset of more-frequent repairs.
Community Solutions & Answers for Your AC: Contact Us Today
Air Dynamics is glad to be the resource keeping local homeowners comfortable, cool and safe from the heat. If you have a question or need service for your air conditioner in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield (IL), just give us a call at (630) 731-1550. Also ask about our All-Inclusive Maintenance Plan with extra benefits for helping avoid the common issues that we’ve discussed!