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Texas is famous for a multitude of things: brisket, cowboy hats, and its unrelenting heat. If you ask any Texan, more than likely, they would tell you they’d prefer to enjoy all those things in the comfort of an air-conditioned building. The point being, not having air conditioning in Texas is almost a crime, so how can you tell if your HVAC unit is having issues?

Common problems with air conditioners happen for a few reasons and are often avoidable with proper guidance, reasons that include faulty installation, poor service procedures, and inadequate maintenance. Below of the most common issues and what you can do to improve the performance of your air conditioner.

 

Refrigerant Leaks:

According to energy.gov, one of the most common issues found during an inspection is low refrigerant, either due to poor installation practices or leaks. If your HVAC unit leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution. Instead, a trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Unfortunately, unqualified service technicians often fail to find refrigerant charging problems. This disregard can worsen existing problems by adding refrigerants to a system that is already full. To ensure each unit performs at maximum efficiency, a qualified technician must check the manufactures recommendations and fill the refrigerant accordingly.

If refrigerant charging does not precisely match the manufacturers’ recommendations during installation, the performance and efficiency of the unit will be impaired. In addition, improper installation of a central air conditioner can result in leaky ducts and low airflow. Refrigerant is a toxic substance, and leaks are harmful to the environment; be sure to check your unit regularly.

 

Inadequate Maintenance & Covers:

A simple solution to an inefficient system is to replace your air filters frequently. Air conditioning filters that are overly dirty can clog the system, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely. Regular maintenance and filter changes will help keep your AC running smoothly.

An ineffective cover can also lead to problems in the long term. The cover can trap dirt and dust, which can lead to efficiency loss and overheating. Poorly maintained air conditioners also suffer from low airflow due to blocked ducts and vents. These things can quickly lead to a breakdown of your AC.

Proper installation practices are vital for anyone who plans to install or service their air conditioning system. Maintenance problems include:

  • Unloading the unit’s refrigerant
  • Making sure all connections to the unit are tightened, especially when cornering
  • Adjusting thermostat settings properly
  • Cleaning or replacing filters appropriately
  • Adjusting fan settings as needed
  • Ensuring proper cleaning of vents, facings & ductwork after any repairs as well as before installing new accessories.

 

Electric Control Failure:

It is not uncommon for many homeowners to find that compressor and fan controls can wear out quickly. This issue is exacerbated when the air conditioner or heater turns on and off frequently. Short cycles occur when an HVAC unit does not match the size of the home. When a system is oversized, corrosion of the system’s wire and terminals tends to cause issues in many designs; the technician should check electrical connections and contacts during a professional service call.

 

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