Your air conditioner has gone haywire and you turn to a technician at Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning with a question: Is this a common AC problem or what?
It can be reassuring to hear: “Oh yes. We see this problem all the time, so try not to worry.”
But worry you do – in spite of yourself. And who can blame you? Your air conditioning system is probably one of the biggest investments you’ve made in your home. You rely on it constantly during the summer to keep you cool and comfortable and your indoor air safe and healthy to breathe. So an air conditioner breakdown can be a nerve-racking prospect indeed.
Your AC is one peerless piece of machinery
At Charlie’s Tropic, we consider it our responsibility to reassure our customers while restoring the cool air to their homes with confidence, skill and efficiency. The truth is, your air conditioner is a very complex piece of machinery. And once you understand how it functions, you might be surprised that it doesn’t malfunction more often than it does as it pulls the warm out of your home. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers explains why:
- The warm air is cooled as it’s blown over a set of cold pipes, called an evaporator coil.
- The evaporator coil is filled with a special liquid called a refrigerant, which changes from a liquid to a gas as it absorbs heat from the air.
- The refrigerant is pumped to another coil outside your home, where it changes back to a liquid. This coil is called a condenser for a reason: because the refrigerant condenses from a gas back to a liquid.
- A pump, called a compressor, moves the refrigerant between the two coils and changes the pressure of the refrigerant so that it evaporates or condenses in the appropriate coils before cool air is blown through your home’s registers.
Common problems can surface
Plenty of problems can occur during this process. Four of the most common air conditioning problems Charlie’s sees are:
- Dirt problems, and they can be virtually anywhere but most often on the evaporator coils, condenser coils and especially the filter. An annual air conditioner tuneup can forestall these problems, as can checking the filter every month and replacing it once it becomes clogged. Dust and dirt are the biggest enemies of your air conditioner, undermining its efficiency, cooling power and even its lifespan.
- Refrigerant problems in the form of low refrigerant caused by a leak. If your home isn’t cooling down as it once did, a refrigerant problem might be the reason why.
- Drainage problems, usually traced to a blocked drain line or a crack in the condensate pan. A puddle of water near the indoor unit is a sure sign of a drainage issue that needs a repair.
- Electrical problems, usually triggered by dirty, damaged or corroded wires or connections or a worn compressor. Charlie’s thoroughly inspects your AC’s electrical components during a tuneup. But if you get a whiff of a burning smell when your air conditioner turns on, call us right away so that we can minimize the potential damage – and repair bill.
Common air conditioner ailments
In addition to common air conditioner problems, there are some common air conditioner scenarios, too:
- An air conditioner that doesn’t turn on could be undermined by a malfunctioning thermostat or an electronic control failure.
- An air conditioner that doesn’t cool a home properly could be plagued by a dirty filter, refrigerant or drainage problems or a thermostat malfunction.
- Limited or restricted air flow could be caused by a dirty filter or clogged or leaking ducts.
With Charlie’s, you don’t have to sweat any air conditioner problem for long. We’ll find the root cause and repair it. And next to cool air, our customers say that that’s the biggest relief, and reassurance, of all.