How to Spot Common AC Repair Problems

Homeowners can save money on AC repair by learning how to spot signs of trouble. They should also learn about professional air conditioning services so they can make an informed decision when it comes time to call in the pros.AC Repair

Factors that influence the cost of AC Repair Woodland Hills include location, energy demand, and annual maintenance. A homeowner should always get multiple repair cost estimates.

If you put your hand in front of an air vent and feel no breeze, that’s a clear sign that something is wrong with your AC unit. You could have an airflow problem due to a dirty filter, a frozen evaporator coil, or leaky ductwork. It’s important to contact an AC repair company right away to avoid a cooling crisis.

An AC repair technician can determine the reason for poor airflow and recommend an appropriate solution. Air duct cleaning or replacement, for example, can solve the problem of clogged air flow. A technician will also inspect the blower for problems like a stuck fan wheel or a loose fan belt, both of which can reduce airflow.

A faulty thermostat is another cause of weak airflow in an AC system. The thermostat reads the temperature of the home, sending instructions to the air conditioning unit. If the thermostat fails to read the temperature correctly, it may run continuously or fail to turn on at all.

The evaporator coil and blower are both parts of your air conditioner that are susceptible to dirty airflow. If you notice a dusty or musty smell, that’s a sign of mold or mildew inside your evaporator coil. The smell can also indicate a dangerous electrical fire risk. A professional will be able to determine the exact source of the smell and repair it as needed.

An obstructed or blocked outdoor condensing unit is another common cause of poor AC airflow. The outdoor unit has the critical job of releasing the heat it removes from your home, so it’s important that it can do this easily and without obstruction. Trimming bushes, clearing debris from the unit, and ensuring that furniture and decorations aren’t blocking return and supply air vents will help improve HVAC airflow.

Odd Smells

Your air conditioner keeps you and your family comfortable all year, but a bad odor can make it less effective. Odd smells can mean a variety of issues with your AC unit, and it’s important to get them taken care of right away.

Smelling Like Urine

If your air conditioner smells like urine, it’s a sure sign that bacteria are living in the system. The bacteria are breaking down dead skin cells that got past the air filter, and they’re releasing ammonia in the process. You can avoid this smell by changing the air filter regularly and having the system cleaned.

A strong rotten egg odor when you turn on your AC can also indicate a problem. Rodents and other small animals sometimes hide in air vents and ductwork during the winter, and when they die, they can release this unpleasant odor. This is a good time to check all accessible vents and ductwork and call pest control or an HVAC professional if needed.

Smelling Like Something Is Burning

A burning plastic or gunpowder odor can be very dangerous to your health, and it’s not a good idea to try to fix this issue yourself. This type of odor is often caused by electrical problems with circuit boards, fan motors, or wires, and it’s best to have an experienced HVAC specialist take a look.

Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that’s used in many air conditioning systems to cool the home. It has a sweet chloroform smell, and homeowners who notice this scent when their AC is running should have it checked out immediately. This is a sign that a leak has developed, and it’s important to have this problem fixed before it causes any more damage to your system or your home.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Frozen coils are a major AC repair problem, but they are usually easy to fix. The first thing to do is shut the system off. This prevents damage while allowing the frozen evaporator coil to thaw. Once this occurs, it may be possible to use a hair dryer or other tools to melt the ice and reactivate your air conditioning system. However, it is important to note that the underlying cause must be addressed to avoid repeated problems.

One of the most common causes of a frozen coil is poor airflow. This is often due to a dirty air filter. A filter inundated with dirt or grime reduces airflow, causing refrigerant to condense too rapidly and drop in temperature. When the coil’s surface temperature drops below freezing, it starts to freeze.

Taking out the old air filter and installing a new one should help. A new filter will increase the amount of airflow, allowing the evaporator coil to thaw. However, it’s best to have a professional look at your air conditioner and install a new filter as part of a regular maintenance plan.

It is also important to inspect the evaporator coil for signs of a leak. A leak can cause the coil to ice over, which means that the refrigerant is leaving the system through the evaporator coil and not getting where it needs to go. A professional will be able to locate the source of the leak, fix it, and restore the proper level of refrigerant. This will prevent the evaporator coil from freezing in the future and protect your building from water damage. This is why a preventative maintenance plan is an important part of any air conditioning system.

Faulty Thermostat

When a thermostat isn’t functioning correctly, it can send false signals to your AC system. This can cause the system to run constantly or fail to turn on at all. In the latter case, a new air conditioner may be required. Luckily, a malfunctioning thermostat usually gives you several warning signs before it completely fails.

A common sign of a broken thermostat is when the temperatures in different rooms don’t match up. While this could be caused by differences in zoning, it could also be a sign of a defective thermostat. In this case, a professional should inspect your thermostat to see if it’s causing the problem.

Another possible sign of a thermostat that is going bad is strange noises. If your air conditioner is making clanking, buzzing, or banging sounds, this could be a sign that the thermostat has been damaged. In this situation, it is important to call a professional right away so that the damage does not worsen.

In some cases, it may be possible to repair a thermostat instead of replacing it. However, this is typically only a good idea for homeowners who have experience working on cars and have the appropriate repair manuals. In most cases, it is best to leave this type of work to a professional.

Leaky Ductwork

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that leaky ducts can be responsible for their AC problems. Over time, ducts can develop holes and cracks due to age, lack of maintenance, and mechanical damage. Rodents and animals can also cause damage to ducts by creating nests or other shelters inside them. Regardless of the cause, air leaking from a duct is not only costly but can also reduce HVAC efficiency and make your home uncomfortable.

Leaking ducts can be quite difficult to identify without professional assistance. However, a simple visual inspection can reveal some of the most common signs of a duct problem. If you notice an increase in dust accumulation, especially in rooms that are not used often, this may be a sign of a leaking duct. Leaking ducts can also disturb hidden dust accumulations in basement areas and within walls, pulling them into the open spaces of your home. This can be particularly problematic if the dust contains dangerous chemicals such as paint thinners or pesticides.

In addition to distributing dust, leaking ducts can distribute harmful fumes as well. This can be a serious health concern for any family, especially those with children or elderly people in the house. If you notice increased dust accumulation or have difficulty breathing, this is a sign that it’s time to call in an AC repair technician to fix your ducts.

If you’re unable to identify a leaking duct using a visual inspection, try turning on the AC at full blast while you inspect it. This will force conditioned air to be circulated around your home and can highlight obvious differences in temperature around damaged ducts. Another trick is to use incense or any colorful smoke to expose areas affected by duct leaks. The smoke will swirl differently in leaky areas, making them easy to spot.