My AC doesn’t work, what do I do?
Is there air coming out of the vents? If no air is coming out of the vents the common problems are; a dirty filter is blocking the air and causing the coil to freeze, the thermostat is not sending the signal to the fan to come on, there is no power to the fan or the fan is broken. It’s a good idea to make sure the filter is clean, the breaker isn’t tripped, and if it has a cord, that it is plugged in.
Is the air coming out of the vents cold? If not common problems are; the thermostat is not sending the signal to the condensing unit to come on, there is no power to the condensing unit, one or more capacitors are bad, the condenser fan motor is bad, the compressor is bad, or the unit is out of refrigerant. If the condensing unit is on the ground it is a good idea to make sure the breaker isn’t tripped and determine if the fan on top is running.
It is not a good idea to keep running your air conditioning if it is not working correctly. Doing so can cause a small problem to turn into a larger one. For an example; running a condensing unit with the indoor fan not working can cause so much ice to cover the coil that it will take more than 24 hours to melt and be able to be used even after the fan is fixed. Or running the condensing unit without the outdoor fan running can cause the compressor to overheat and permanently fail or need to be off for several hours to cool even after the fan is repaired.
Below are some common problems that you may be facing, but to know for sure, call us for a free consultation.
The thermostat is really just a specialized switch. It has a thermometer to tell it when to come on and when to shut off. If it is wired incorrectly or has an internal problem, it will not operate correctly. Our trained technicians can bypass it to determine if it and the wiring are working correctly.
A dirty filter is an extremely common problem. It can increase your energy bill considerably. Most people are unaware that they should be checked weekly and as soon as they change color, they should be replaced. We recommend utilizing inexpensive reusable filters unless someone in the household needs more efficient filtration to combat illness or allergies. Filters designed to remove more material from the air clog up quicker and need to be replaced more often.
Either the forced air unit or the condensing unit may have a tripped breaker or blown fuses. It is a good idea to reset the breakers before calling out the professionals.
A capacitor is similar to a battery. It stores power to be utilized when electric motors start and as they run they regulate power. Most indoor blower motors, condenser fan motors, and compressors have capacitors. If a capacitor is bad, it can cause the motor to not come on or run incorrectly. These should only be tested by trained professionals.
Bad Main Control Board
Most furnaces or air handlers have a main control board. They are like a computer motherboard, most of the functions of the HVAC system are controlled by it.
Inducer Motor Problems
Most furnaces have an inducer fan that expels the spent gases from the gas furnace. During heating season the pressure tubes can be clogged causing a safety switch to be tripped not allowing the Furnace to work. The motor or capacitor can also break causing the heating not to work.
Broken Gas Valve
Gas furnaces have a gas valve that regulates the amount of gas that is consumed during the heating cycle. When they break, they don’t allow gas to be consumed.
Broken ignition system
Most furnaces today do not have a pilot that needs to be lit every heating season. There are a number of different ignition systems to light the gas that is consumed. Both the ignition module and the ignitor themselves can break.
Broken indoor fan motor
The indoor fan motor is utilized both in heating and cooling seasons. A fan that isn’t coming on or is spinning slower than needed can cause the coil to ice over in the cooling season or the heat exchanger to overheat in the heating season.
Broken condenser fan motor
The condenser fan motor cools the outdoor coil and compressor during cooling season. When it is not operating correctly, it can cause the compressor to overheat or permanently break.
Compressors are the main motor in an air conditioning system. They can fail a number of different ways. If they are less than 10 years old, we recommend replacing them if they permanently fail, if they are older, than we recommend a whole new ac system.
AC Systems work by condensing refrigerant in a closed loop system. Ideally, they should have the same amount of refrigerant in them the lifespan of the system. Sometimes the systems develop leaks, and refrigerant needs to be added. The EPA directs HVAC techs on how much refrigerant is allowed to leak in a given time period. Our trained technicians can determine if a leak test needs to be conducted or if refrigerant can be added.
To create a more comfortable living environment, ac systems remove humidity as they remove heat from the home. This humidity turns to water and must be disposed of. When the piping for this water is clogged, it can cause leaks in the home. Some older AC systems have metal collection pans that can rust as well causing leaks.
The conditioned air is sent through ducting to the registers. If the ductwork insulation or the duct itself is damaged it can cause the HVAC system to not operate efficiently.