Air conditioners make life incredibly comfortable. There is simply no going back once you are used to the comfort provided by an AC. Is sunny afternoon bothering you? No worry, press a button, and you’re in wonderland. Air conditioners have become ubiquitous and integral part of human life. Any damage to an AC can be extremely distressing. Discomfort, loss of sleep, loss of productivity, dehydration is only some of the adverse effects. The list is much longer.
Understanding the most common causes of air conditioner failure can not only help in faster diagnosis but also the cheaper resolution of the problem. There are specific failure scenarios which can be fixed by an average individual without the requirement of special tools or expertise.
Here are some common scenarios of failure of the AC:
Blown fuse or a tripped circuit-breaker:
Air conditioning systems consume much energy. The ACs are, perhaps, the largest consumers of electricity in the average home. The high ambient temperature at the compressor, clogged radiator, or failing capacitors may cause the system to draw excess current. If the current drawn exceeds the rating of the circuit breaker, power flow is interrupted.
Cleaning the compressor and allowing a few minutes of cooling may be a possible way to get the AC to start. If the breaker still trips, it is best to call an air conditioning technician.
The air conditioners work on refrigerant gases. If the refrigerant pressure is inadequate, there may not be proper cooling. If your AC unit is tasking significantly longer-than-usual to cool the surroundings, a refrigerant leak may be the issue.
Refrigerants are dangerous, and diagnosis requires specialized equipment. Call the technician right away. Using the AC in such a situation for prolonged periods could damage the compressor.
Frozen coils again cause lack of cooling. Ice and lack of cooling are counterintuitive. A coil freezes when there is less refrigerant pressure or the evaporator coils are clogged. Clogged air filters can also cause frozen coils.
A DIY solution would be to turn off the AC and let the ice melt. Clean the coils using a coil cleaner and try using the AC. If the problem persists, call an air conditioning technician.
A thermostat is a small electrical sensor that turns the compressor ON or OFF based on the temperature setting. Fault in the thermostat may cause the AC to cool to uncomfortable temperatures or to not cool at all.
If changing the set temperature on the remote does not change the temperature of the surroundings, the thermostat could be the point of failure. Call an air conditioning service in this case.
Damaged Compressor and other moving components:
Compressors are highly resilient devices, but if they are improperly loaded, they can fail pretty quickly. An improper operation like usage in excess ambient temperature, clogged coils, improper refrigerant pressure could load the compressor and degrade it. The compressor is the core of the AC. If the AC doesn’t turn ON, it is time to call the technician.
Failures are caused due to misuse of equipment and failure to comply with the service schedule of the AC. During a service, the technician can inspect the unit thoroughly and take preventive maintenance steps that prevent complete failure.