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Troubleshooting Problems with Your Air Conditioning System

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Some maintenance tasks for your Forney, TX, home air conditioning are best left to a professional, but there are a few things that you can easily perform yourself before you schedule a service call. We’ll start with some basic techniques for solving simple issues before moving to more complex problems. If you aren’t comfortable completing any of these steps, give us a call. We can walk you through the process or send out a Willard Heating, Cooling & Plumbing technician.

 

The Thermostat Doesn’t Have Power, or the System Won’t Run

If your air conditioner or fan isn’t working, check the thermostat first. Low batteries cause unpredictable problems. Replace the batteries yearly around the time when you test your smoke alarms. Lithium-ion batteries last much longer than alkaline products, so it’s worth upgrading.

Once you’ve ruled out battery troubles, examine the thermostat wire that runs to the compressor. Look for damage from weed whackers and lawn equipment. This is a common cause of malfunctions. If your thermostat is working normally, the fan relay, controls or compressor might be failing. Use the fan-only setting to isolate the issue.

Low Airflow

If you’re experiencing low airflow in your home or have noticed that the blower shuts off frequently, replace your air filter. Dirty return filters are one of the most common causes of breakdowns. When the return filter is clogged, less air circulates in your home. This strains your cooling system and decreases its efficiency by 5 to 15 percent. Inspect the return filter every month, and change it if you’re having difficulties.

Ice Buildup and Frequent Shutoffs

On the hottest days in Dallas, you may notice ice covering your compressor or evaporator coils. This phenomenon isn’t related to the outdoor temperature. The main causes are restricted airflow and low refrigerant levels. If air can’t reach the coils, condensation forms. Then, the water droplets freeze. Eventually, the unit will overheat because no air will pass through the ice. Luckily, newer air conditioners will shut off automatically. If your air conditioner needs frequent resetting, this could be the reason.

There are several solutions depending on the root cause. If ice is building up on your indoor evaporator coils, replace the air filter. Run the fan by itself so that the ice thaws completely before you run the air conditioner. If ice is forming on the outdoor unit, clean the coils with a garden hose after the frost has melted. Turn the air conditioner off first. Don’t use a pressure washer since it will bend the fins and make the situation worse. If the unit is still developing ice, your technician will measure the refrigerant, check for leaks and recharge the system if necessary.

No Air or Hot Air

If hot air is coming out of your vents when the air conditioner is on, check your compressor or outdoor packaged unit. The fan should spin while the blower is running. If it’s not, there could be a problem that has activated the automatic shutoff or tripped the breaker. This can happen to the air handler too. In that case, no air will come out of your vents when the compressor is running.

Try resetting the circuit breaker that’s located near the outdoor unit. This will clear any incorrect codes. Adjust the thermostat, and see whether the compressor is running. If the unit isn’t working, your Willard technician will check for electrical and mechanical glitches. Shutdowns related to error codes are inconvenient, but they protect vital components and prevent costly air conditioning repairs. That’s actually beneficial.

When It’s Time to Call a Professional

If you’re still having problems after trying these troubleshooting tips, feel free to check out our maintenance services or call Willard Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Forney, Texas to schedule a service call at 972-564-9785. We’ll inspect your air conditioning system, diagnose the problem and give you an estimate for any air conditioning repairs that might be required.

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