Air conditioning equates to summertime bliss – folks in Northern California know this. However, if it is not working right, you may just suffer through hell on earth. There are certain problems that invariably crop up even when you have professionals maintain your air conditioner regularly. After all, it is just a machine. These are a few common AC problems and their solutions to make things right again quickly.
1. AC is Always On
You may keep the air conditioner on at all times, but it doesn’t necessarily need to run constantly. Central air conditioners are supposed to cycle on and off many times in an hour. This is necessary for reaching and maintaining required thermostat temperature setting. However, it may be a problem if the unit keeps going non-stop.
Solution: The first thing you should do is change the air filter. In fact, it is probably smart to change the air filter every 30 – 90 days. Speak with an HVAC expert if that doesn’t help. The issue may be with the age of the air conditioner or a leaky refrigerant.
2. Refrigerant Leak
Older air conditioners make use of Freon for cooling the air. This refrigerant has already been phased out now. The Freon inside the air conditioner can escape through cracks and leaks. This won't allow the system to condition air efficiently.
Solution: Don’t attempt to fix this problem on your own. You should get in touch with a professional HVAC expert immediately.
3. Puddles Around the Air Conditioner
You may spot puddles around the outdoor condenser unit occasionally. This is especially common on hot and humid summer days. However, the puddle should occur only when the air conditioner is running. You may have a problem on your hands if there is an ongoing leak or an exceptionally large amount of water.
Solution: Change the air filter if you think it is moist or clogged. Check the outdoor temperature. If the air conditioner is being used when the outside temperature is 16 degrees or below, it may cause the coils to freeze. You should get an expert technician if the problem persists.
4. Loud Noises
Central HVAC units make a certain amount of noise like clunks, clicks and a stead hum. However, you need to beware of really loud noises, such as grinding or screeching. This can be indicative of major issues.
Solution: Dramatic sound effects are produced by blocked air flow. Make sure you check the air filter before anything else. Try and understand the type of noise and where it is coming from. Describe this to the HVAC professional when they come for repair.
5. Bad Smell
Certain smells emanating from the air conditioner can be confusing. The fact is that the smell is not really coming from the AC. Instead, the HVAC ductwork is circulating odors from other parts of the house. It can be cigarettes or a natural gas leak. However, if you get a burning or rotten egg smell you should immediately turn off the HVAC unit.
Solution: You can easily resolve a cigarette smell by smoking outside. For other types of smell, you should shut the system and call for emergency repair. In most cases, a bad smell is because of some component burning or a gas leak.