Welcome to summer in Southwest Florida! Wow, it’s already been a really hot one, and judging by the number of repair calls we’ve been getting, it is absolutely taxing people’s air conditioning systems. We are here for all of your HVAC repair needs, but we thought we’d give you a few things to look at when your AC doesn’t seem to be working up to par. That way if it’s a relatively easy fix for you, you can get it handled right away, and if it’s not, you should call us. There are a number of common issues air conditioning units can have that cause them to not work efficiently. We will start by looking at some of the more easily fixed issues.
Your air conditioner’s filters have an important job to remove dust, allergens and debris from the air and keep it out of your HVAC equipment and ducts. When it gets clogged, it impedes air flow, which keeps your AC from working at maximum efficiency, and worse it can damage other parts of your AC. If you are a heavy AC user, (and aren’t we all here in SWFL?), or if you have pets, you should be changing your filters every month in the summer time and at least every 60 days in the winter. Not only will your air conditioner be able to work properly again, but the new filter will cut down on the allergens and dust that were caught in the dirty filter—which will mean easier breathing for everyone in the house.
Blocked vents and registers
Want better airflow in a particular room? Better doublecheck that the air vents and registers are wide open and not blocked by furniture or curtains. This is a common issue in offices where people sometimes block a register on purpose because they are too cold. Luckily it’s an easy fix!
Obstructed condenser unit
Hot sun plus lots of rain means our lawns and weeds and plants in general here in SWFL grow like crazy during the summer. Unfortunately, they can cause a problem with your outdoor condenser unit. It’s an easy fix it yourself thing though. Your system can overheat when there is not enough air flow to the condenser unit, so go outside and see if the condenser is obstructed by leaves, weeds or other outdoor debris, and remove all of it. Keep grass and plants trimmed in that area.
If your unit is running, but not cooling down the house, it may have a clogged drain. A build up of algae and dirt in the drains can clog them, causing overall functionality of your unit to be affected. A clogged AC drain can also force water to back up, causing water damage to your home too. Cleaning out drain lines is something we recommend you let our experienced technicians do because it’s a more involved job.
Dirty and frozen evaporator coils
Since it’s part of the outdoor unit and exposed to the elements, the coil can get so dirty that it can’t release heat. Then your unit has to work harder (and hotter) trying to cool your space. Another thing, when dirt builds up on evaporator coils it can cause those coils to ice up. A buildup of ice on the evaporator coils will bring the system to a halt. You can clean the coils with a spray can of self-rinse coil cleaner after you’ve used a hair dryer to melt the ice from the coils. The coils should be cleaned once or twice a year as part of the AC unit’s regular maintenance. (Hint: if you don’t have a maintenance contract with us. . . you should look into getting one. They are not expensive, and we give priority to those customers who have maintenance contracts.)
Thermostat issues and malfunctions
You’ve checked the filter and drains, but the AC unit still isn’t blowing cold air. Sometimes, something as simple as a faulty thermostat, or even a low battery can be problem. The first thing to try is resetting the thermostat. Then try replacing the thermostat’s batteries. If it is still not reading the right temperature, your best bet is to call us to come check out the thermostat and figure out why it isn’t working.
Blower fan sluggishness
Your AC unit has blower fans that move the air through your ducts and into your living space. As with many of the other parts of the unit, when the fan becomes dirty, it slows the operation of it and reduces your air flow. Luckily, it’s a pretty simple matter to clean the fan, and you should look to have it cleaned at least twice a year during our maintenance visit.
If you’ve got an older HVAC system, leaking refrigerant is one of the most common problems we see. Low refrigerant mean a reduction in the cooling capacity of your AC unit, as well as declining performance of your system. Other than the AC blowing warmer than normal air, you can tell if your unit’s refrigerant levels are low if there is condensation water on the ground around the unit or if there is ice build-up on the lines that run from the AC into the house. Unfortunately this isn’t a problem you should try to fix yourself. Our trained technicians must repair any leaks, recharge the system, and test the refrigerant levels to ensure the unit is once again properly functioning.
Electrical control failure
If your unit turns on and often frequently, the compressor and fan controls can get worn out and stop working. That means the unit may not turn on at all due to electrical control failure. We recommend first checking your electrical breakers to see if it’s not simply a tripped breaker first. If it’s not, then give us a call and we will have a technician check the electrical connections on the AC to fix them.
Lack of Maintenance
Have you seen a pattern here with the different problems HVAC units can have? Almost everything we’ve listed is something that we will check on and clean and repair twice a year when you have a maintenance contract with us. Regularly scheduled maintenance by a licensed air conditioning tech is a must down here in Florida, where we use our systems year round. Proper and regular maintenance can prevent most common HVAC problems when done by a certified HVAC team.
Don’t neglect your system or you’ll most likely run into costly breakdowns, poor performance, and increased energy costs. Save money and prevent costly repairs by signing up for a yearly maintenance contract with us. Give us a call at 239-462-4068. #floridaairconditioning #SWFLHVAC