Summer has arrived, and so have the AC problems associated with hot weather. Here in the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it’s crucial to have a steady supply of cool air during the summer months. Having a broken air conditioner can seriously impact your ability to stay comfortable, safe, and happy during the warm season. From sky-high energy bills to stifling heat in your house, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. That’s why we put together a short guide to help you understand some of the most common AC problems in summer.
1. Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant is the liquid responsible for cooling down the air as it passes through the air conditioner. If there’s a leak in the system and the refrigerant falls below a certain level, your AC can no longer cool down the air. You’ll probably notice the air in your home is gradually getting warmer over the course of a few days or even weeks. A technician can patch the leak and top off the refrigerant levels. It’s important not to handle the refrigerant by yourself because it’s a dangerous chemical that should only be used by a trained professional.
2. AC Won’t Turn On
This is one of summer’s most frustrating AC problems because it totally eliminates your ability to get cool air. There are a few common culprits behind air conditioners that won’t start. Luckily, some of these problems are easy to fix on your own. Tripped breakers and dead thermostat batteries will impair your AC’s ability to turn on. Try flipping the breakers and replacing the batteries to see if that restores power to your AC.
If that doesn’t work, a more serious problem might be at play. A worn-out capacitor is also a common problem. The capacitor is the component that powers the AC’s motor and fans. When the capacitor wears out, the AC won’t turn on. This is a problem that a trained technician can easily fix.
3. Leaky Ducts
Your air conditioner is attached to a series of ducts that transport cool air to various parts of your house. These ducts are made of separate pieces of metal that are joined together by joints. As the ducts expand and contract with the changing temperature, the joints are put under stress. Eventually, the stress will get so severe that it leads to air leaks.
Leaky ducts cause your AC to work harder but become less effective at cooling down your home. You’re most likely to notice this problem on the hottest days of summer when your AC is struggling to keep up with the temperature. Our technicians use advanced equipment to detect even the smallest air leaks so we can patch them up.
4. Dirty Air Filter
Dirty air filters are a big reason why air conditioners break down. Spring and summer are especially dirty seasons because they go hand in hand with high pollen levels. This causes the filters to get dirtier faster than during the cold seasons. As the air filter gets clogged with debris, the AC has to work harder to push air through. Overheating, component failure, and high utility bills are all potential side effects of having a clogged AC air filter. To avoid these consequences, we recommend changing your air filter every month during summer.
5. High Energy Bills
Higher temperatures lead to higher utility bills, but there’s still a range that’s considered normal. If your energy bill suddenly skyrockets from one month to the next, there could be a problem with your air conditioner. Some common AC problems during summer cause your system to consume much more electricity than normal, which results in your bills going up. If you’re unsure if your bill is within the normal range, ask a neighbor if you can compare your bill to theirs. A higher than average number should warrant a call to your trusted AC technicians.
6. Thermostat Troubles
The thermostat is like the brain of your cooling system; it tells the system when to turn on and off and what temperature to cool your home to. If there’s a problem with the thermostat, your AC may not be able to reach your desired temperature, or it may not turn on at all. Thermostat problems have various causes. The easiest one to fix is drained batteries. However, it’s also possible there’s an electrical problem with the thermostat. The latter issue will require professional attention.
7. No Cool Air
Your AC should generate a steady supply of cool air, so you know there’s a problem if it’s making warm air. Before you worry about a potential problem, take a look at your thermostat to make sure it’s on. If it’s off, switch it to the settings for “on” and “cool.” If your AC is still producing warm air, then there may be a problem with the thermostat or the unit itself. A technician will assess your system to figure out exactly what’s wrong and fix it for you.
8. Dirty AC Coils
Did you know that your AC can process up to 100,000 pounds of air every day? Unfortunately, dirt and debris will hitch a ride on that air and make their way into your AC unit. Some of this debris will become trapped on the AC coils and reduce the unit’s performance. You can try to clean them off yourself by gently spraying down the unit with a garden hose. One of our technicians would also be happy to clean off the coils during a routine maintenance appointment.
9. Dripping Water
Leaks are a common problem for air conditioners. Coolant, refrigerant, and water can all make their way outside of the unit when a pipe breaks. If you notice water dripping or puddling around the unit, there might be a clogged drain line. This pipe is normally open to allow water to flow safely from the AC’s evaporator coils. When the pipe is obstructed, water instead is trapped inside the unit and damages the electronics.
10. No Airflow
If you wave your hand in front of your AC vent while it’s running, you should feel a blast of cool air coming out. If you instead feel nothing or a very weak airflow, then there’s probably an issue with your AC. It’s common to experience clogged air filters during summer, but it’s also possible the fan is not working.
Your Summer AC Experts
There’s no reason you should have to suffer through the extreme heat of summer without a functioning air conditioner. Luckily, many of these issues can be prevented with a little vigilance. If you notice any of the issues above, let Hansen Heating & Air know. We’ll send out a technician to make repairs as soon as possible. In the future, you can avoid most of these issues with annual maintenance. We’ll make sure your AC is cleaned, calibrated, and in peak condition for the hot months of summer. For top-notch heating and cooling repairs, replacements, and maintenance, look no further than Hansen Heating & Air. Call us today to schedule your appointment!