Top 6 Causes of Air Conditioner Failure

1. Neglecting Annual Maintenance

  • Annual maintenance is very important for your unit, it can not only increase the lifespan of your unit, it will ensure there are minimal repairs within the AC units’ lifetime.
  • There are simple tasks that can be done yourself such as changing the air filter, and cleaning the outside of the unit, to help your unit maintain its functionality. The most recommended method is calling in an HVAC professional to carry out annual maintenance. When this is completed there is a record of what has been done, any current errors fixed and the peace of mind your unit will run smoothly for the next season.

2. Dirty Filter or Coils

  • Typically the air filter should be changed every 3 – 6 months; however, it wouldn’t hurt to be checked monthly. When checking your air filter, look for any tears or rips, how dirty or dusty it is, replace it as you see fit, however you should change the air filter every 3 months.
  • A vital part of your AC maintenance is cleaning your units’ coils, each unit has two sets of coils, the evaporator coil and the condensing coil. The evaporator coil is located where the blower fan is, by your air filter. To reach optimal energy efficiency both coils must be kept clean, this should be done annually by an HVAC professional. Checking the coils when you check or replace your air filter allows you to notice any debris or dirt build up on the coils. Changing your air filter regularly not only helps protect your coils, it will help avoid the coils needing replacement ahead of time.

3. Electrical Issues

  • Breakers and fuses are a defence for the unit’s motor or compressor from overheating, if a fuse is dirty, the wrong size it can cause a malfunction which will trip your breaker causing the AC unit to shut down.
  • A capacitor is an essential part of your AC unit as it stores a charge and regulates the power to the system, if it is failing you will experience recurring electrical problems
  • An increase in your monthly electricity bill could be the culprit in faulty electrical on your unit. AC electrical usage can use a significant portion of your electricity bill, if there are any major rises in your monthly bill an AC electrical problem could be to blame.

4. Faulty Thermostat

  • The thermostat is where you control the temperature in your home, if you suddenly notice a change in the regular temperature of your home but your thermostat does not read any differently it could be malfunctioning and need to be replaced.
  • Ensuring your thermostat is clean of any dust or debris is a good first place to start when trying to determine an issue in temperature.

5. Low Coolant

  • The coolant, also known as, Refrigerant, is the chemical in your unit that cools the air within your system. Reduced levels of coolant could imply a leak or a problem with the system.
  • If your AC unit is blowing warm or hot air this most likely means the coolant is low or empty and needs to be recharged.
  • Other symptoms of low coolant are when the thermostat’s fan setting is set to ON instead of AUTO, the compressor is malfunctioning, there is ice on the coils, it is dirty on the outside of your unit.

6. Poor air flow

  • When your unit stops producing the same flow of air, or the flow of air has diminished quite noticeably, the problem may be in your ductwork. Ductwork is what the AC unit uses to carry hot air outside and cold air inside, is it made up of plastic tubes that run within your walls. Occasionally the ductwork can leak which will result in huge energy bill increases.
  • Typically causes of poor air flow are from a blockage within the ductwork, improper installation of duct work, a puncture within the ductwork, and sometimes it is because the wrong sized ductwork was installed.


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