How to Deal with Air Conditioner Problems

ac fan blades

It is a good time to start thinking about ways to make the summer season easier on your AC unit, and you bank account. It may be worth scheduling an appointment for a professional HVAC technician come to your home.

Ask your HVAC technician questions, and find out as much as you can about the unique nature of your system. For example, ask where the filters are located and what type of filter is right for your home. Keeping your HVAC system clean and functioning well is going to be important for anyone trying to sell their home, and should obviously be of concern when buying a home.

If you’re having a problem keeping cool, here are some things to check:

  • Make sure all outside equipment is clean and has a free flow of air around it. 
  • Check the thermostat settings. It most likely is set correctly, but it is a good idea to double check.
  • Examine the electrical panel to make sure there are no blown fuses or tripped breakers.
  • Pools of water near the equipment could be a sign of blockage in the drainage tubes. Algae are a common cause and can be removed with a bleach solution.
  • If you notice frost or ice on any of the equipment, shut the system down. You’re going to need a professional at this point.

Problems with air conditioning systems can be caused by malfunctions in several different places. Modern systems place a large, metal box outside your home. This is the condenser, and it’s where the refrigerant where the heat is lost to the outside and the refrigerant cools back to liquid form and is returned inside to the evaporator coil. There, as the refrigerant evaporates, it absorbs heat from the inside of the house.

Filters are one of the key points where you can save yourself a lot of headaches. Air drawn in by the air conditioner for cooling passes through air filters to remove dust and other particulates. A dirty filter causes the system to have to work harder, resulting in less cooling, higher electricity bills and potential damage to the equipment.  The lower air flow can cause your evaporator coils to ice-up and completely block air flow. Filters should be replaced once every two to three months. If you have pets, you’ll want to change them every six weeks.

The evaporator is usually inside your home, perhaps in an attic. You’ll have to change the air filter there, so while you’re there make sure the area around the equipment is clear and nothing is blocking or interfering with the system.

The condenser unit, typically on the side of your home, needs to be kept clean as well. You’ll need to cut back grass, weeds and shrubs that may impede the flow of air. And a dirty condenser needs to be cleaned by cleaning the fins and removing dirt or debris with a vacuum. This should ONLY be done with the system off and the 240-volt current switched off at the electrical panel.  You may wish to have a professional help you with this if you are not used to working with electricity.

Taking care of any issues now can help prevent them from turning into expensive fixes. With warm weather ahead, you will be glad you prepared and will have one less thing to worry about. Contact me today at 817.690.0976 for a consultation. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.

Pam Snowden

Realty World Professionals

817-690-0976 (cell)

Image courtesy of Steve Johnson/