Trouble with Your Air Conditioner? | Here’s How to Identify the Culprit

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Cats are known to sabotage air conditioners in neighbouring homes.

Your air conditioner is a pretty spectacular piece of machinery.

It sits outside year round. It has hundreds of moving parts. But because it was well built and you keep up with maintenance, it probably never breaks down.

But just because it hasn’t succumbed to some sort of problem doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes something out of your control goes wrong.

But if you know what to look or listen for, you’ll be able to tell when the problem is minor, or when it might call for a significant repair.

Most of the time it’s one of the following problems, and the solution is a quick fix for one of our air conditioner repair technicians.

The air conditioner can’t decide if it wants to be on or off.

Your air conditioner should never get stuck in a cycle of rapid on and off cycling.

If it is, there is a problem with either:

  • The condenser.
  • The evaporator.

You won’t notice any strange sounds other than the rapid cycling on and off.

It comes down to poor communication between a couple parts of the air conditioner, and requires some specialized training to identify.

Depending on how old your AC unit is, this repair may fall under warranty.

The fan sounds…wrong.

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The fan on the outside unit of your air conditioner makes a white noise sort of sound. You’ve heard it since childhood. That deep humming-buzzing sort of sound is how most homeowners know the air conditioner is on.

If the fan outside stops working right, heat won’t transfer properly and the compressor will overheat, potentially causing mechanical damage and promoting a professional repair call.

If anything sounds abnormal about your fan, shut the AC off and drop us a line for an immediate home visit.

The AC is on but it’s hot inside.

If your air conditioner is the right size for the square footage of your home, you should never feel uncomfortably warm when the air is on.

If you find the temperature inside doesn’t match up with the temperature on the thermostat, the thermostat sensor may be malfunctioning. This is a quick replacement by a certified technician.

Your air conditioner may be clogged up with debris from the fall/winter/spring. It might even be blocked by clumps of grass spat out by your lawn mower. Routine air conditioner maintenance can clear this out and get the air conditioner running smoothly again.

Lastly, your refrigerant levels might be low (if you skipped maintenance for a couple years). This would be caused by a leak, which must be repaired first before charging the system with refrigerant.

My air conditioner is covered in…ice?

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If your air conditioner looks like this, don’t worry. It’s just winter. The shovel is a dead giveaway.

Ice in the summer can come from a frozen coil or a build-up of ice on the refrigerant lines or tubing joints.

Ice production could be a result of:

  • A very low thermostat setting.
  • A leak somewhere in the coil
  • A leak along the refrigerant lines
  • A plugged filter

Most of these require a professional touch to solve. Call us when you see ice.

With regular maintenance (annually, we recommend), your air conditioner should never run into any operational issues.

Maintenance becomes even more critical as the unit ages, especially with kids or older family members in the house.

Book your maintenance visit today, before the hottest days of summer hit.