4 Common Air Conditioner Repairs

When the summer is in full swing, we see an uptick in air conditioning repair jobs. Lack of regular maintenance, faulty parts or wiring, and general wear and tear caused by intense temperatures are common causes for this increase. With other repair companies, you may find that the technician doesn’t adequately explain exactly what went wrong with your air conditioner, or why a repair was necessary. Fortunately, we at Chas Roberts make it a priority to educate our customers about the what, why, and how of air conditioner repairs. Here are the four most common problems we address with repairs.

1.      Refrigerant problems

Many times, the amount of refrigerant in an air conditioner is too low to match the manufacturer’s specifications. On the other hand, having too much refrigerant can produce problems of its own. If a system has too much refrigerant, it is considered overcharged. If a system has too little refrigerant, it is undercharged. Either of these improper charges can keep the system from functioning properly. An overcharged air conditioner is less efficient, and has a lower cooling capacity. An undercharged air conditioner can cause damage to the compressor by making it overheat.

Refrigerant can also leak, leading to issues with temperature. Simply adding more refrigerant is not a solution—instead, a technician must fix the leak and test the repair before ensuring that the system has the correct amount of refrigerant.

2.      Broken or inoperable fan

Your air conditioner has two fans: one is located in the indoor portion of the unit and blows cool air into your home, and the other is located outdoors to blow hot air away from your home. Problems with either of these fans can create a situation where your air conditioner is unable to cool your home properly. There are several reasons why your air conditioner’s fans can end up broken or inoperable, including the following:

Motor issues

A fan’s motor can fail due to overheating, burn out, electrical problems, or issues with internal wiring. In particular, overheating and burn out can occur due to the increased amount of strain your air conditioner endures when you rely on it heavily in the summer. Typically, replacing the motor is the best solution. To keep your new motor in good shape, we recommend that you have it tuned-up twice a year as part of an annual maintenance call.

Electrical problems or outages

Wires can become loose, or even disconnected. Additionally, wires can fray over time. Problems with wiring can cause your air conditioner’s fan to run less efficiently, or not run at all, which can strain the system. In the aftermath of a power outage, your air conditioner may also experience issues, including potentially tripping the circuit breaker, which can impact the function of the fan.

Bent or broken blades

Bent blades can cause damage to the components around them when they spin. They may also spin too slow, or otherwise fail to power your air conditioner correctly. Blades may become bent or broken due to a variety of causes, including regular wear and tear. Having the blades replaced can correct this problem and prevent further damage.

3.      Dirty condenser coils

Condenser coils are prone to accumulating dirt, dust, and grime over time. Dirty condenser coils are especially common in desert climates such as Arizona, due to the amount of dirt and dust in the air. When condenser coils get dirty, your HVAC system has to work harder to do its job, leading to an increased amount of wear and tear on its parts that can ultimately result in system failure. Dirty condenser coils can also lead to an increase in your energy bills, since your air conditioner will have to use more energy to get its job done. Fortunately, cleaning condenser coils is a routine repair that rarely requires any parts or components to be replaced.

4.      Short Cycling

When your air conditioner short cycles, it turns on and off too frequently. This makes it nearly impossible for your home to maintain a comfortable temperature. Additionally, short cycling increases wear and tear, as turning on and off frequently puts an increased amount of strain on the air conditioner. Short cycling also reduces the energy efficiency of the air conditioner, which means you’ll likely see an increase in your energy bills.

Short cycling is a common air conditioning problem that can be due to a number of causes, ranging from mild to serious. The most common causes of short cycling include:

Oversized system

Many homes have air conditioners that are too big for the home’s energy needs. An oversized air conditioner that is too powerful for the size of the home it’s in may short cycle because it only needs a short amount of time to cool the home. The problem with this is that the air conditioner will restart the cooling cycle too soon, putting strain on its vital components. It’s best to ensure that your air conditioner is properly sized for your home to prevent potential short cycling.

Clogged air filter

One of the most common causes of short cycling is a dirty or clogged air filter. A clogged air filter can cause your air conditioner to overheat and shut down before it completes the cooling cycle. Fortunately, this issue is easily solved by replacing your filters at least once a month.

Low refrigerant

If refrigerant levels are low, your air conditioner will struggle to remove enough heat from the air as the air passes over the evaporator. Low refrigerant levels lead to low-pressure conditions within the air conditioner’s refrigeration system, which triggers the low-pressure switch. This can result in serious and costly damage to the compressor, which is why you should contact a professional as soon as you notice your air conditioner is short cycling.

Need a repair? Call Chas Roberts

No matter if your air conditioner is malfunctioning, not living up to expectations, or just won’t operate at all, our skilled technicians are here to help. Our emergency services include support on holidays and weekends at no additional cost, to ensure that we’re available whenever problems arise. Contact us today for assistance with repairs, replacements, and installations.