What are the Most Common Causes of Air Conditioner System Failure?

Common central air conditioning problems can arise when rooms are closed off and the flow of air through the house is blocked. To prevent this, it is important to close all windows and exterior doors in your home to isolate the room or group of connected rooms from the rest of the house. To learn more about the most common air conditioning issues and what to look out for, check out our Energy Saver 101 infographic on home cooling. Other frequent issues with existing air conditioners can be attributed to improper installation, inadequate service procedures, and lack of maintenance.

If an air conditioner is not installed correctly, it can lead to duct leaks and reduced airflow. Additionally, the refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant in the system) may not match the manufacturer's specifications. If the refrigerant is not charged properly during installation, it will affect the performance and efficiency of the unit. Unqualified service technicians may fail to detect refrigerant charging problems or even worsen existing issues by adding too much refrigerant.

When hiring a technician to service your air conditioner, make sure they are qualified and know what to look for. If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it could mean that it was undercharged at installation or that it is leaking. If it is leaking, simply adding more coolant will not solve the problem. A trained technician must repair any leaks, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of coolant.

It is essential to remember that your air conditioner's performance and efficiency will be better when the refrigerant charge matches the manufacturer's specifications exactly and is neither undercharged nor overcharged. Refrigerant leaks can also be damaging to the environment. In a central air conditioning system, the evaporator coil unit is located inside the house and is usually part of the furnace and fan assembly. Room air conditioners have a thermostat sensor located behind the control panel which measures the temperature of air entering the evaporative coil.

Air conditioning systems typically use disposable filters made from spun fiberglass, pleated paper, or cloth attached to a cardboard frame. If these filters become dirty, it can cause constant cycles which can overheat your air conditioner and cause excessive engine and fan wear. Additionally, if ventilation grilles become clogged with dust, vermin, or construction debris, cooled air will not be able to pass through them or enter your living spaces. Because an air conditioner removes moisture from the air during cooling, it includes a condensate drain.

It is easy to forget that your air conditioning system needs maintenance but professional service and maintenance are essential for long-term operation. While you should always hire a professional for major repairs or maintenance, there are many steps you can take on your own to prevent an air conditioner failure or even fix some problems. To ensure that your air conditioning system runs smoothly for years to come, it is important to have regular maintenance checks done by a qualified technician. This will help identify any potential problems before they become serious issues that require costly repairs or replacements. Additionally, regularly changing your filters will help keep your system running efficiently and reduce energy costs. By following these simple steps and having regular maintenance checks done by a qualified technician, you can help prevent costly repairs or replacements due to common causes of air conditioning system failure.

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