One thing we all know well is that the typical “Dog Days” of summer usually coincide with the month of August. This can often make your house unusually hot and stuffy while forcing you to rely on your air conditioning unit for comfort throughout the season. Summer time in Madison is no time for an air conditioner to go out. Most homeowners dread having their air conditioners break in the middle of the summer sizzle.
With unit load maxing out, this is the season when you need an air conditioner to be performing and also the time you can least afford a breakdown. The good news is that there are many ways to which you can avoid many of the most common A/C problems. The bad news is that most homeowners are unaware of the telltale signs of a bad or failing A/C unit. That’s why we always strive to educate our clients on common A/C problems, the signs and when to seek AC repair services.
Knowing the potential problems can help you avoid costly repair or even a complete unit replacement. Being aware of the issues will also help you know when to call in an A/C repair technician. Three of the most common air conditioning unit problems are caused by refrigerant issues, clogged air filters, and lack of regular maintenance according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
1. WHY IS MY AIR CONDITIONER BLOWING WARM AIR?
If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, you may be low on refrigerant. The refrigerant is the blood of your air conditioner. Without sufficient refrigerant, your A/C unit can’t cool your home properly. Refrigerant leaks are the most common mechanical problem in the air conditioning industry. They are also very frustrating as they run your energy bills up and also increase the potential of getting a large repair bill in the future.
Many homeowners will seek the services of HVAC professionals when their units won’t work. Most homeowners don’t understand the importance of professional AC repair services and hope we will just recharge the unit with refrigerant to make it through the season. Well, this kind of approach is faulty. If the refrigerant leak is not repaired, it is only a matter of time before the refrigerant leaks out again. Continuous recharge will deplete the oil in the compressor eventually damaging it.
What causes refrigerant leaks?
Different factors can cause refrigerant leaks. Some of the factors include:
• A vibration – can weaken, split, separate or rust rubber seals and copper tubing.
• Formic acid – a naturally occurring acid that can etch the copper coil causing a pin hole leak.
• Wear and tear
2. WHY ARE MY ENERGY BILLS SO HIGH?
Are you getting more expensive electric bills with every passing summer? Even though electric bills usually go up and down, the increase in the rates should not be terribly dramatic. If you are getting unusually high bills, chances are your air conditioning system is at least partially to blame.
Over time, the furnace filter can be clogged with dust and debris. A clogged filter restricts air flow, which forces your unit to strain and use more energy to heat or cool your home. According to the DOE, a clogged air filter can use 15% more energy. The ineffectiveness increases rapidly as the filter becomes more and more clogged or until the filter is serviced. AC repair experts recommend changing your air filter each time the first signs of dirt appear. Check your air filter every month or at least every three months to ensure the full efficiency of the air filter (depending on the style of filter).
Effects of a clogged AC air filter
• Poor air quality
• Can cause a severe mechanical problem – liquid slugging
• Inadequate heating and cooling
• Clogged air filters lead to furnace failure
• Increased energy usage
3. WHY IS MY DRAIN LINE CLOGGED?
Condensate drain lines are important as they help to remove condensation from the A/C units due to normal operation and humidity control. A clogged condensate drain line can be messy. Well, we completely know this. It is a yucky issue that many homeowners encounter. The problem needs to be sorted out as quickly as possible. If not acted upon promptly, the problem might get worse and result in thousands of dollars of damage. A clogged A/C condensate drain line may lead to problems like:
• Water damage to your home
• The growth of mildew, virus mold, and bacteria
• Leaking onto electrical components and connections
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR A/C UNIT
• Keep your coils clean
• Change your filter
• Confirm that the dryer vent is not angled toward the A/C unit
• Check your ductwork and seal open spaces
• Keep surrounding shrubbery trimmed
• Schedule an annual tune-up with an AC repair technician
When your air conditioning unit won’t work or you need more than a basic repair, get in touch with an HVAC professional. We know that your A/C system is an essential piece of equipment for your home. Schedule routine maintenance to ensure that it operates efficiently even during the warmest months of the year. Regular tune-ups by an AC repair technician will make sure that you are comfortable and cool through the summer season.
Pharo Heating & Cooling is a full-service HVAC contractor in Madison. Our team provides top quality service for new construction and replacement furnace and air conditioner needs. For more information about air conditioner issues or concerns, give us a call at 608-849-5410 or submit a contact form through our website.