AC Repair – Common Problems That Homeowners May Not Be Aware Of
When AC Repair Van Nuys are necessary, the homeowner should get several quotes for parts and labor. Home warranty companies may also provide coverage for some repairs.
AC techs typically charge a basic service fee to come out and diagnose the problem. This cost is then tacked on to any repairs that are needed.
Thermostat issues are often the first AC problems homeowners notice, especially when they don’t work as expected. They may be faulty, broken, or just showing signs of wear and tear. This can cause the system to run inefficiently or even stop working altogether.
If you are experiencing any of these thermostat problems, first be sure that the unit is receiving power. Then shut off the breaker and carefully take off the cover. This will allow you to access the internal components and clean any dirt, soot, cigarette smoke or dust that has coated mechanical and electrical parts. You can use canned compressed air or a soft brush to remove this build-up of grime. In addition, if the internal connections have become damaged due to corrosion or are simply loose, you can retighten them using electronic contact cleaner.
It is also possible that your thermostat is incorrectly set up or located in a drafty area. If the area is exposed to direct sunlight, close proximity to a hot lamp or fireplace, or cold drafts, this can affect the temperature reading. It may be possible to correct this by adjusting the thermostat to the appropriate settings.
You should also check that the thermostat is properly plugged in and that it has not been set to the “auto” fan setting, which causes the fan to constantly circulate air. If this is the case, the fan will need to be manually switched to “on.” A professional can help with determining the best location for your thermostat and making any necessary changes. They can also offer advice about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model with programmable features. These will help you save money by automatically regulating your home’s comfort level.
Over time the evaporator coil in your air conditioner can become coated with dirt, dust and other airborne debris. When this happens it affects the airflow of your AC, and as a result it reduces its ability to transfer heat from your home to the refrigerant. This can lead to a number of problems, including excessive wear on the system, higher operating temperatures and pressures, ice buildup on the coil, clogged condensate drains and unpleasant moldy odors.
The best way to tell if your evaporator coil is dirty is by checking the suction and discharge pressures of your system. Lower-than-normal readings will indicate that there is a problem with the evaporator coil.
Another sign of a dirty evaporator coil is that your AC may be running in cycles in an attempt to cool your home down to the desired setting. This is because the coil is less effective at absorbing the heat from your home.
Dirty evaporator coils also reduce the efficiency of your AC, causing it to work harder than necessary in order to achieve the same results. This can cause your unit to break down sooner than you might expect.
While there are some things you can do to keep your evaporator coil clean, such as changing the air filter on a regular basis and vacuuming the vents regularly, it is important to contact an experienced HVAC technician for professional maintenance on your system. They have the knowledge and tools to clean your evaporator coil safely and effectively without causing damage or risking breakdowns. This will help your air conditioning to run more efficiently, making your home a more comfortable place to live.
Dirty Condensation Drain
The evaporator coils and the drain line are the primary areas in your air conditioning system where moisture accumulates, which is why regular maintenance of these parts is important. If the drain lines become blocked, water can back up into the evaporator coil area and cause it to degrade faster. Additionally, water in the evaporator coils can create an unfavorable environment for your AC unit’s fan motors and compressor coils. This can lead to premature failure of these components and even cause the system to shut down entirely.
A dirty condensation drain is often caused by algae growth within the system’s pan or clogs in the drainage line itself. Regular cleaning of the condensation drain line can prevent these problems from occurring.
If you suspect your condensate drain line is clogged, first turn off the power to your AC unit by flipping the switch in your home’s breaker box associated with it. This will prevent any water damage or electrical issues that may occur due to a flooded evaporator coil.
Once your air conditioner is off, you can begin the cleaning process by finding the drainage line outside your house – this is usually an inch-long PVC pipe that connects from your indoor air conditioning unit to a drain pan located in your attic or outdoors. Locate the pan and use dry rags to remove any excess water that may be present inside. You can also pour a solution of white distilled vinegar and water into the drain line access point to kill any bacteria or mold present. Once you have the clog cleared, you can test the drainage by pouring clean water into the drain vent and observing how well it flows.
If the air flowing out of your home’s vents is weaker than normal, or if different rooms seem to have differing temperatures, it could be because of clogged ductwork. Air ducts are responsible for moving air from the HVAC system into each room, and they can become clogged with dirt, dust, pet dander and debris from lack of maintenance or other reasons.
The first step is to make sure the heat or air conditioning is running, and to check the temperature of each room. A slight difference in the temperature of a few different rooms is normal, but major differences on the same floor are a warning sign that something is wrong. Next, make sure the air vents are open, and that no furniture is blocking them. You should also check the ductwork for physical obstructions. It is not uncommon for children’s toys, loose change and even rodents to get inside of a vent or block it completely.
Over time, air ducts can develop holes and cracks that lead to reduced HVAC airflow, and this is especially common in older homes. Birds and vermin can also create nests in ducts, and over time these will deteriorate and lead to clogs.
When airflow is limited, the air conditioner will have to work harder to distribute cool air throughout the home, which can cost you money. It is a good idea to regularly change your air filters, and if the problem persists, it may be time to call in an expert for a professional duct cleaning. They can use brushes and vacuums to remove the buildup from within your home’s ductwork, improving the quality of your HVAC system’s performance.
Warm Air from the Vents
When your AC system is working properly, it should blow cool air through vents in your home. Warm or lukewarm air coming from your vents isn’t just unpleasant; it can be a sign of some serious problems with your AC unit.
One of the most common reasons your AC is blowing warm air is a problem with your thermostat or refrigerant levels. In this case, you’ll need to call in a professional to fix the issue and restore your AC to working condition.
A clogged drain line can also prevent your air conditioner from cooling properly. If the condensation drain becomes blocked by dirt or debris, it can cause the air to become moist and sluggish. This is not good for your home and could lead to mold growth.
Another possible cause of your AC unit leaking warm air is a problem with the ductwork. Duct leaks can allow conditioned air to escape, warming it as it passes through your vents. A professional should inspect and repair any ductwork issues.
Finally, low refrigerant levels can also cause your AC to blow warm air. Refrigerant is what cools the air as it passes through the evaporator coil, and low levels mean that your evaporator coil won’t be able to cool the air. A professional should inspect and add refrigerant to your system to get it back to working order. You should never attempt to open your outdoor compressor unit and add refrigerant yourself. It’s too dangerous and easy to damage your equipment. If you’ve tried everything above and your air conditioner still isn’t blowing cold air, the circuit breaker may have tripped. Check your disconnect box and reset it if necessary.