Seeing as how I’m more adapted to polar environments (fur and such), summer is an especially uncomfortable time for me. I rely on my air conditioner to keep me cool and comfortable throughout the summer season, and am especially careful to keep an eye out for any issues that might crop up with the system. There are many different kinds of air conditioning problems, some of which are merely inconvenient, and some of which can completely cripple the system if you aren’t careful. If you want to protect your air conditioner from the various kinds of issues that can afflict it this summer, you need to be aware of the kinds of symptoms such dangerous problems might give off. The following are a few of the different kinds of air conditioning issues that can completely cripple the system if you aren’t careful.
Clogged Air Filter
This one is especially unfortunate, because it’s so easy to prevent from happening in the first place. If you don’t change the air filter in your air conditioner every three months or so while you’re using the system on a regular basis (summer) then it has the potential to become clogged. A clogged air filter will prevent most of the air in the ducts from making it into your air conditioner, which will in-turn cause your evaporator coil to freeze. If this happens, the immediate effect will be to prevent the air conditioner from cooling properly. The long term effects are more serious. The ice can spread down the refrigerant line to other parts of the system and cause them to break down as well. If you notice ice building up on your evaporator coil, you should have it looked at by a professional technician as quickly as possible.
Short cycling is when your air conditioner turns off before it can complete a full cooling cycle, resulting in a truncated 2-3 minute on/off pattern. This cuts into your system’s cooling ability, obviously, since it needs to complete a full cooling cycle to work properly. The more concerning effect of this issue, though, is that it increases the rate at which the system wears out. An air conditioner that is allowed to short cycle will become more and more prone to developing other issues, and will eventually break down entirely. Call for repairs immediately if you notice your system doing this.
Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioner. The system recycles the same charge of refrigerant back and forth throughout its life, and should never need more refrigerant added to it unless a leak develops. A refrigerant leak will rob the system of output capacity, eventually culminating in the entire system breaking down when the fluid level gets too low. For this reason, if you see fluid dripping from your air conditioner, we highly recommend that you call for a technician to repair it as soon as you can.