When your AC isn’t cooling your home effectively, you’ll probably want to get it fixed as fast as possible. Homeowners can ensure their air conditioning system is always performing at its best by becoming more aware of the most common AC issues and their repairs. This can help you identify the source of your system’s inefficiency fast and take action before it turns into a larger issue.
When your air conditioner is on the fritz, there is a good chance the condenser coil is dirty, the condensate line is clogged, filters are filthy or your system is leaking AC refrigerant. Let’s take a closer look at these four most common AC issues and how you can solve them.
1. Dirty Condenser Coils
Your AC unit’s condenser coils remove heat from your air and send it outside your home. When they become coated with grime and dirt, the refrigerant inside your condenser coil will be unable to properly remove that heat. As a result, your AC unit will begin to blow warm air or struggle to meet the temperature you have set on the thermostat. Leaving dirt and grime on your condenser coils can even cause total system failure as your AC works overtime to produce cool air.
If you live in an area with poor air quality and pollution, your coils are more likely to get dirty. Fixing this issue usually comes down to simply cleaning off the coils. This requires a professional hand, as your coils are easy to damage and costly to replace. Thankfully, this service is included in regular AC tune-ups and annual AC maintenance.
2. Clogged Air Conditioner Drain Lines
As air is cooled down by your air conditioning system, it will begin to shed any excess water molecules. As you might remember from chemistry class back in the day, warm air can carry more moisture than cool air. So where does that condensation go? When your system is running appropriately, the excess moisture will be caught by a drain pan and sent outdoors through your drain line (also called a condensate line).
If you notice water leaks near your indoor AC unit, there is a good chance your drain line is clogged. Depending on your unit, this may also cause your air conditioner to fully or partially shut off. Some units have a float switch that is activated by excess water buildup to prevent this flooding.
What about dry climates with less moisture? While you might think that clogged drain lines are a less common problem in drier climates (like those in California)—this is more complicated than you may expect. The air certainly holds less moisture for your AC system to manage. However, this also leaves your drain line susceptible to more severe clogs. Your drain line is a narrow, dark, and moist environment, making it prone to sludge and mold growth. In climates with more humidity, this drain line is almost constantly flushed out by water—giving it less time to acquire blockage. In drier climates, any moisture, contaminants, and sludge that build up in your drain line will continue to sit and worsen over time.
Clogged drain lines can do severe damage to your entire HVAC system, and the water leakage can create mold in your walls and ceilings. Usually, all you will need to do is flush the drain line to remove any debris or other materials causing clogging. If you don’t know how to flush your drain line, you can always turn to a local HVAC specialist like Bonney.
3. Low Air Conditioning Refrigerant Levels
Your air conditioner refrigerant is what allows your AC system to remove humidity and heat from the air. When an air conditioner’s refrigerant is low, your AC will not be able to cool the air circulating your home. Low AC refrigerant occasionally occurs in newer units that were installed during the fall or winter. More commonly, when your refrigerant is running low, there is likely a refrigerant leak somewhere in your unit.
Your AC refrigerant exists in a sealed system—meaning the same refrigerant is recirculated throughout the lifespan of your unit. When this refrigerant becomes low, it means that one of the components your refrigerant passes through is cracked, leaking, or broken. An HVAC specialist can find and address your refrigerant leaks for your full AC repair.
4. Dirty Air Filters
Some of the most common culprits behind an AC unit not working correctly are dirty home air filters. When your home air filters become clogged from dust, debris, and dander, they restrict your unit’s airflow. This decreases your unit’s efficiency and effectiveness as it causes your system to struggle for air intake.
The longer you leave a dirty filter in your home, the harder your air conditioner will have to work. An AC unit that’s not running efficiently due to clogged filters can raise your energy bills and potentially damage your system. Luckily, dirty filters are some of the easiest issues to fix. You simply need to keep up with your recommended air filter replacement cadence. Most homes require air filter replacements every 1-3 months, depending on the filters you choose, the air quality in your area, the size of your home, the number of residents you have, your cooking/cleaning practices, whether or not you have pets, and other factors.
Choose Bonney for Your AC Repair Needs
If you’re having an issue with your AC system and need a team of professionals to help, turn to Bonney Plumbing, Heating, and Air in the Sacramento area. At Bonney, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality air-conditioning services to our clients. Alongside repairing damaged AC systems, we can help you better maintain your system to ensure it lasts a long time. Once you are ready for an upgrade, we can also install your new AC system while helping you find a unit that fits your home and budget. You can contact us or make your appointment here online to get started today!