When you live somewhere like Los Banos, the last thing you want is air conditioning problems. And yet, sometimes they’re inevitable. The good news is, if you know what to look out for then you can be quick to call for professional repairs. Below are 4 potential problems you might face with your air conditioner—at least if it hasn’t been properly maintained.
1. Frozen Evaporator Coil Leading to Low Airflow
Your air conditioner’s operation depends on two sets of coils—the evaporator coil and the condenser coil.
The evaporator coil is tasked with absorbing warm air from inside your home so that it can go through the refrigerant process. If this coil can’t absorb this warm air for some reason, then it will get so cold it will develop ice and frost. Though to many homeowners this may seem “normal,” it is anything but. Ice on the evaporator coil means the coil can’t absorb anything, which leads to reduced airflow and cooling power, and subsequent lowered efficiency and compressor damage.
So, what can you do? First off, do not try to remove the ice on your own. This can end up doing more damage to your system and you’ll wind up needing to call for repair anyway. Turn off your system and give our pros a call. Even if a coil defrosts on its own, we need to find the root cause of it so we can repair it and restore your AC.
2. Dirty Condenser Coils
This is the other coil of your air conditioner, tasked with releasing the warm air it pulled from inside your home, outside. If this coil is covered in dust and dirt, it will act as an insulator instead and will be unable to do its job.
If this happens, your system can’t work efficiently and you may notice symptoms such as energy bills that are higher than usual, your home not cooling properly, and more.
Just like with the evaporator coil, you’ll want to call in a pro for system cleaning. If the coils have gotten so dirty that they’ve stared affecting performance, it typically means that maintenance was skipped, so having a pro thoroughly inspect your entire cooling system is probably a good idea.
3. Dirty Air Filter
We have some good news with this one—this is a problem you can solve on your own!
Many homeowners assume that the air filter installed with their HVAC systems is in place to protect their indoor air quality. But in reality, it’s there to protect the systems themselves from being infiltrated with dust, dirt, and other debris. When the filter becomes too clogged up, it restricts airflow, leading to a whole host of operational problems.
But, you can and should be changing your filters on your own. Depending on the type of filter it is and the level of contaminants in your home, this air filter should be changed every 1-3 months.
4. Refrigerant Leak
One more common homeowner misconception is that refrigerant is something that “runs out” like gasoline does from a car, and as a result must be refilled (recharged). The fact is, if your system is running out of refrigerant, it actually means you have a leak somewhere in the system that must be repaired in order for your air conditioner to operate safely and effectively.
If you hear something resembling a hissing noise or notice significantly reduced airflow in your home, it’s time to call a pro. A refrigerant leak is definitely not something you want to let go on for too long.