Most of us must have come across many central air conditioning problems, out of which few we can troubleshoot ourselves. But there are some problems which may need the attention of a heating and cooling contractor. This article throws light on various such problems and their respective remedies.
The central air conditioning unit boils down to two components: the condenser and the evaporator. The condenser unit consists of a condensing coil in which a high temperature and pressure refrigerant gas flows, and a fan to blow air across the coil. The refrigerant gas is cooled back to a liquid state with the help of this fan.
Normally, the condenser unit is present in the outdoor portion of an air conditioning system and located outside the house.
An evaporator coil, also known as cooling coil is a part of finned tubing into which liquid refrigerant is metered and evaporated from liquid to gas state. This refrigerant gas absorbs heat, cools the evaporator coil surface and further leads to cooling of the indoor air blown across the cooling coil.
The coil is located inside the air handler unit and mounted either in the plenum or main duct junction above the furnace.
A central air conditioning system is connected to a home’s forced-air distribution system. Hence, common motor, blower and ductwork which is used for heating can also be used to distribute cool air from the air conditioning system.
Central Air Conditioning Problems
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Following are some common central air conditioning problems:
Air conditioner doesn’t turn on and sometimes stops working: If the air conditioner stops functioning, check the fuses and circuit breakers. Make sure the thermostat is adjusted to cool and below the current temperature. Be sure that the furnace power and condenser power switches are turned on.
Compressor switches off: If the compressor switches off, it means the high pressure switch has tripped. Reset by pressing the button in the compressor’s access panel.
Central air conditioning system making noise: If the central air conditioning system is making a lot of noise, check whether the fan blades are clean or not. But before doing this, don’t forget to turn off the conditioner.
Frost build up on the evaporator coils: When the temperature is below 60 degrees and the air conditioner is on, frost may buildup on the evaporator coils. Immediately switch off the air conditioner when you see this happening.
Refrigerant leakage: This may happen if the air conditioner is low on refrigerant or is not properly installed. Adding refrigerant may not solve the problem, hence it is advisable to call a trained technician to fix the problem.
Central air conditioning system leakage: If the water is leaking inside the system, it means the system is not cooling, maybe due to the cooling coil getting frozen. This can also be caused due to a low refrigerant charge or insufficient airflow. To rectify this problem it is better to call a trained technician.
Room temperature and thermostat temperature don’t match: If the temperature set on the thermostat is more than the room temperature, the thermostat may not be calibrated properly or could be installed in a place where it’s not able to sense the room air correctly.
Central air conditioning is on but the air isn’t getting cooler: The reason behind this can be that the air conditioner may be dirty and needs to be cleaned. If the units are functioning properly but not cooling, then check the larger of the copper lines exiting the condenser. If it is hot, it could be compressor failure, and if it is cold, there can be air flow problems in it due to a clogged filter.
Noisy air ducts: This problem may occur due to the metal heating and cooling ducts, which can be fixed by installing a flexible installation ductwork.
The central air conditioning system should be properly examined and adjusted before the beginning of every cooling season. By following specific maintenance procedures you can help your system operate at maximum efficiency.
Central Air Conditioning Trouble Shooting
A central air conditioner system is one of the commonly used home electrical appliances. To know more about central air conditioning troubleshooting, read on…
A central air conditioner system is usually one of two types. Normally, it is either a split-system or a packaged central air conditioner system. The split-system central air conditioner system type actually has two systems, one is an outdoor system and the other an indoor system.
The outdoor unit of the split system encases the condenser and the compressor. On the other hand, the indoor unit has the evaporator. In the case of a packaged central air conditioner, there is an outdoor cabinet that has the air compressor, condenser and the evaporator.
Usually, the split air conditioners are commonly used home air conditioners and the packaged air conditioners are used in small commercial buildings. Central air conditioning is a necessary home appliance if you have a furnace. The split central air conditioning is a better option for this situation.
Here are some tips for central air conditioner troubleshooting…
Central Air Conditioner System Troubleshooting;
The first step is to check whether the thermostat has fresh batteries. Some of the best programmable thermostats give a low battery indication. It is advisable to check the batteries of the thermostat before moving further with the central air conditioner troubleshooting.
The availability of power must be checked by turning ON the fan of the central air conditioner. If the fan is not running, it means that air conditioner is not powered. The miniature circuit breakers (MCB) and fuses in the air conditioner must be checked. If the problem is with fuse or MCB, it must be fixed. Approval for electrical safety is wise. Otherwise, the condenser needs to be checked. For this, checking the compressor and motor of the air conditioner is necessary.
For checking the condenser, the selector switch must be on ‘cool’ mode and the fan on the ‘auto’ mode’. The condenser can be reset using a button near the refrigerant lines. If the air conditioner does not work even after resetting the condenser, it should be replaced. You need to take professional assistance to replace the condenser of the air conditioner.
There are two copper lines running besides the condenser. These copper lines should be at a cool temperature if there is no problem with the freon charge that runs through these pipes. If these lines are warm, it indicates that the air conditioner is out of freon charge. As against this, if the lines are frozen it maybe due to the clogging of the filter or because some object is obstructing the return duct.
A dirty evaporator may also cause the air conditioner unit to stop cooling the air. To fix this problem, you can turn off the air conditioner and turn it ON after the system comes to a normal temperature. A dirty evaporator must be cleaned and then the air conditioner must be turned ON. The problem of recurrent freezing needs a professional maintenance.
Condensate pumps of a split air conditioner or a packaged system are usually placed outdoors. The air conditioner can stall due to unplugged condensate pump. Sometimes, a faulty condensate pump can cause the air conditioner to stop working. If there is water collected around the condensate pump, professional service must be called for so that the problem can be fixed.
The condenser coil and fins must be cleaned at regular intervals. Sometimes you will need an ac coil replacement, but this needs to be done by a professional. The evaporator in the air conditioning system must be cleaned from time to time to ensure smooth working of the system.
Lastly, if the central air conditioner system does not meet the cooling requirements, the capacity of the air conditioner must be increased accordingly. In case, you are not able to troubleshoot the central air conditioner system, it is recommended to call a professional installer to fix the problem.
The professional installer may ask you to replace the air conditioner if the central air conditioner cannot be repaired. Buying a new central air conditioner involves considering various other factors from the central air conditioner reviews. These were some of the guidelines for central air conditioner troubleshooting.