Summer is just about the worst time to have your air conditioner develop issues. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when the system is most likely to have problems. You may not be able to totally prevent issues from occurring with your AC, but you can do your best to prevent any problems that do develop from getting worse. One of the most obvious signs that your air conditioner is having issues is a drop in output. Have a look at some of the reasons why this might be happening, below.
An air conditioner cools a home by evaporating and condensing its refrigerant supply. This allows the indoor unit to absorb heat, and vent it out of the building using the outdoor unit. The refrigerant is not consumed during this process, which means that the system needs all of it in order to function properly. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, the output capacity of the air conditioner will drop along with the refrigerant level. This will hinder your system’s ability to cool the home. If the leak isn’t patched, and the lost refrigerant replaced, the air conditioner can break down entirely once the refrigerant level drops too low. So, make sure that you call for repairs if you notice fluid dripping from the system along with a drop in output.
Short cycling is when the air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes. This lowers the output capacity of the air conditioner, as it cannot complete a full cooling cycle. However, it also dramatically increases the amount of strain on the system. If the problem isn’t fixed, it can shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by a number of years. Make sure that you have a professional examine your air conditioner if it starts to short cycle.
Clogged Air Filter
The final problem we’re going to cover in this post is actually one that you can fix yourself. The air filter is a fiber mesh that protects the system from dust and other debris. The filter is pretty effective protecting the air conditioner from contaminants. However, it also has no way to get rid of the debris that it collects. If the filter is not cleaned out every few months, it will become so clogged that it will prevent air from flowing into the air conditioner. Less air flow means less ability for the air conditioner to circulate cool air throughout the house.
If you want to replace the air filter yourself, locate the air return duct. This is the point at which the duct meets the air conditioner. There should be a cover of some kind hiding the air filter in that area. Open it and slide out the old filter. Take note of the direction that the arrows are pointing on the rim of the filter. Once the old filter is removed, slide the new filter into place, making sure that the arrows on the new filter are pointing the right way. That done, all you need to do is close the cover. Make sure that you do this at least once every three months or so, and you should be fine.