Why Is My Air Conditioning Not Working?
Did your air conditioner just stop working? Check out these common reasons an air conditioner will stop working and how you can possibly fix it.
Did your air conditioner just stop working? Check out these common reasons an air conditioner will stop working and how you can possibly fix it.
What is worse than loud brass band music when you are trying to work? (Apologies to all those who love a brass band. Hearing them play Rocky movie score sounds pretty awesome!) Especially if you live in an area with a hot and humid weather – worse case scenario is when you are forced to turn your attention away from your work to ask a question why is my air conditioning not working?
Suddenly you start to respirate more than usual which makes it uncomfortable for you to sit in one spot for a longer period. Your focus and productivity are out of the window. You cannot work like this. Also, a culture where you live does not approve of an afternoon siesta, so you cannot just nap through the warmest part of the day. You have to keep doing your work. However, before you do, let us address the question: Why is my air conditioning not working?
First, it’s always important to understand how your air conditioner works. Your AC unit uses condensers, compressors, evaporators, and refrigerant to circulate air in your home. That’s a lot of working parts! Let’s take a look at the issues you may be facing with your air conditioning unit.
The thermostat is not set correctly – Without you even knowing, someone might have bumped into the thermostat, setting it to “heat.” Check your thermostat to make sure that its settings are not changed. Sometimes it is enough that your thermostat is switched from “auto” to “on.” In such case, the fan will be kept on without cooling the air even if outside unit is not running.
Restricted air flow – If there is not enough air coming out of your vents, it means that there is a restriction in the air flow. Quite a serious issue because sometimes your compressor can freeze due to restricted air flow (compressor is a part that moves refrigerant in the outside unit). The cause may be that you have not changed the air filter for a long time. Another reason could be dirty coils. Restricted air flow can occur when a technician has not been called to service your air conditioning this year.
No electricity in the outside unit – Your AC is blowing air, but it is not cooling. That is because cold air can be only produced when the outside unit is running. Check your fuse panel or circuit breaker to make sure that the electricity is supplied to the outside unit.
There are a few more reasons why your AC might be blowing warm air. It could be due to the dirty evaporator coil, low freon or refrigerant leak, and also due to the broken or disconnected return duct. All of these problems are a bit more complex, and they may require the attention of a licensed HVAC technician. If you feel like there is a need for our assistance to help with your air conditioner repair, call us anytime!
Dirty or clogged air filter – Open up your air register and assess the state of your filter. If it is jammed or dirty, replace it. Your air filters should always be replaced monthly. However, do not stop there. It may be the case that there are other air filters present in your HVAC. For example, sometimes there is one located at the air handler and one more at a central return inlet air grille. Make sure you know the location of all your filters and inspect them one by one, as replacing only one filter may not make much of a difference to weakened air flow.
Dirty or broken blower fan – It may be that the blower is belt driven. Check that the fan spins and the belt is intact. Even if the blower is spinning and the cage fan in the fan unit is dirty or clogged, you will not feel much air flow. If you do not know what the air handler, cooling coil or blower is, always call a licensed AC technician.
Damaged ductwork – It may be that there is less air coming out of your supply registers because of blockage or partial blockage, disconnects or leaks in your duct work. Scrutinize your ductwork closely.
Thudding sounds – Is a description of a sound that comes out of the AC unit. It means that something is flying around while still attached to a turning motor. Sometimes it could be just something simple like a loose fan blade. Other times it could be something complex such as loose component. Every time fan turns, it hits the part and causes thudding. In these cases, remove the cover of your AC unit to inspect what causes the noise.
Screeching noises – Air conditioning motor uses a belt to drive the blower. Sometimes this belt can get worn out and produces screeching. If you can hear the noise only when the unit is turned on to blow the air or cool it down, you are dealing with a worn out belt that needs to be replaced.
Whistling sounds – Whistling sounds usually happen because of damaged seals. Where ducts exit the central unit and are attached to the ductwork of the house – that is where the whistling sounds are the most common. You can find the most cracks and seams in this area. It is imperative that you inspect seams in areas mentioned above carefully. If you find any loose connections, tighten screws and bolts. If a tape covers the seams, make sure that it adheres completely.
Rattling noises – These sounds are very familiar as any fasteners in the machine will come loose at some point. If you hear rattling noises, the first step is to check for loose cover plates. Once you find an unaffixed plate, make sure to tighten all the bolts and screws. Noise should disappear at this point. If the sound persists, go to the breaker and flip the power switch off. Now remove the cover plate of the central unit and inspect the inside of the unit for any loose screws and bolts. Tighten them accordingly.
Often it so happens that a broken furnace masquerades as a faulty or malfunctioning thermostat. Before you consider that you have an expensive HVAC problem, let us scrutinize your thermostat.
You can start by cleaning a thermostat, changing its batteries or setting it to “Heat.” Sometimes your thermostat will require a bit more attention, however. You may assume that it is broken, but sometimes it is just neglected. At other times it is necessary to change it for a new one due to faulty wiring, aging or other issues. We recommend a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat which learns your habits and makes your life easier. Nevertheless, do not throw your old thermostat away, as it may contain mercury. Dispose of it properly or give Sig Cox Augusta Air Conditioning a call.
Now, go to the breaker and check if your HVAC is getting power. Also, you need to check if your thermostat has power. Some thermostats require batteries. Change them for new ones before you move on to the more complicated stuff.
Next step would be to open up your electromechanical thermostat housing. This trick usually works with older thermostats. Get a small paintbrush and give it a light dusting including contact plates and metal coils. Many times it so happens that dirt and dust are a cause for inaccurate temperature readings.
It may seem to be obvious, but your thermostat needs to be away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Many homeowners overlook this point. If your thermostat is by the heat source like a stove or a computer, its temperature readings may be off. Hence, it will send wrong commands to the AC and the furnace.
Also, perhaps your mercury switch does not work accurately. Check if your thermostat is in complete balance.
Another thing you could do is to adjust your anticipator. Open a thermostat’s housing and look for a small metal tab. Adjusting your anticipator will solve the problem if your HVAC systems circulate not frequently enough or too often.
There is one more thing you could do. Turn the temperature down to 60 degrees. In spite of it, set your thermostat to “Heat.” That way your furnace does not turn on, as it is not getting any signals from the thermostat. Check if your thermostat is now off. If it is off, all is good and well. If not, lower the temperature some more until it turns itself off.
At this point go to your breaker panel. Flip the switches to turn off power to your thermostat and furnace system. Keep the power off for around 30 seconds to 1 minute. After this time, flip the breakers again to turn the power to your HVAC back on. Sometimes all that is needed is this reboot.
Most of the manufacturer’s warranties require that you set up annual HVAC inspections. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system saves time, money, effort, and you can prevent faulty thermostat readings and other issues.
If you followed the above steps but was not able to repair your thermostat or if you would like to contact us about annual HVAC inspections, Sig Cox Heating & Air Conditioning is here for all your HVAC related needs. Give us a call on (706) 722-5304.
Occasionally your AC is not used in a right manner which may cause a foul smell. If you run your air conditioner on “Low” all the time, it may have detrimental effects on the indoor air quality. The problem is that humidity increases which can cause mold overgrowth within the vent system. In turn, this causes obnoxious odors. As a remedy, put your AC on a “fan” mode. The fan will dry up any moisture accumulated in the vent system.
Also, a clogged drainage systems could be a cause of a bad odor. It is the case when air conditioning runs for hours on hours. If the drainage is clogged with dirt, water accumulates in the condensate tray. After some time it starts to emit a foul smell. If you open the AC cover plate and clean up the tray, it solves the problem.
Sometimes if your AC is larger than required (1-1.5 ton AC should be enough to dehumidify and cool down a room that is not too big). It can cause a nasty smell because air conditioner that is too big is unable to dehumidify the air properly.
At other times dirty air filters, water leakage into the pipes of central air conditioning, and engine fluid leakage can also induce to emit a stink. Perhaps it is time to call a maintenance technician. Keep on reading if you insist on identifying and remedying the problem yourself.
Most of us can handle changing filters, brushing away dirt that is obstructing coils, and cleaning drains as routine maintenance. Some issues require professional service, however. If regular annual tune-ups are neglected, your AC may get to the point that it will need multiple repairs in a short amount of time.
One of the most common reasons for service calls is leaking water or refrigerant. It is an issue that you can avoid easily if regular annual maintenance is scheduled. There are many causes why air conditioning is leaking water or coolant.
Clogged drainage. Once dirt clogs drain lines, water has nowhere to go. That is why it goes back into the pan. The problem is that drain pan can store only so much water. When its capacity is filled, water overflows.
There are a few possibilities to resolve this situation. The first option is easier than the other. Perhaps you would even be able to apply it on your own. To de-clog drain lines, use acid tablets.
The second option is to call a maintenance technician who will blow out drain lines. It is something that is usually done during the regular annual preventive maintenance.
Disconnected drain lines. If the installation job was done poorly, drain lines leading from the unit could be disconnected. It can be due to poorly cemented PVC fittings. Before you decide to give us a call, check if your drain lines are properly connected. If you find that drain lines are connected well, and water does not seem to be leaking due to faulty installation, water leakage is caused by something else.
Rusted drain pan. Another reason for leaking water can be rusted or damaged drain pan. If the drain pan is damaged or rusted, water can get right through and cause an outflow. You need to repair or replace the drain pan.
Dirty filters. When was it that your filters were changed the last time? Dirt can jam filters. If the filters get dirty and blocked, air cannot get through them. Because of this, filter freezes. Once the ice melts, water starts dripping.
Low refrigerant charge. Leaking water could also be due to low refrigerant charge. When the air conditioning is running out of refrigerant, it starts to freeze up. When ice starts to melt, water can seep through the ceiling. Once this happens, it can be extremely costly to repair the damage.
Air trap. If there is no air trap nor p-trap installed in the drain line, leaking of the AC unit could occur. When the pipe is in the negative air flow, water runs from the unit thanks to a p-trap. The unit will suck the air up the drain if it is not trapped properly. That way it will fill the pan with water. Drain pan has a certain capacity. Once it reaches its capacity, the pan overflows.
Poorly insulated ductwork. The temperature difference causes water to condensate along the ductwork. If the ductwork is not insulated well, it can leak water.
Damaged condensate pump. A condensate pump elevates the water outside if your AC is installed in the basement. You need to repair or replace the pump if it is broken as it cannot pump the water outside anymore and can cause a water leakage.
If all that we mentioned above did not help, contact Sig Cox Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer first class service, advising our clients to their best interest. Call us on (706) 722-5304 and ask us to install a float switch. A float switch will turn off the air conditioning if it overflows with water again.
If your air conditioning is 10 years or older, it may be the time to replace it with a new one. New HVAC systems that earned Energy Star could save you up to 20 percent on heating and cooling. The same thing applies for a furnace, although its life span is a little bit longer. If the furnace in your home is 15 years or older, consider replacing it with a new one marked with Energy Star. It can be 15 percent more efficient than the old one which will save you a lot of energy dollars.
Also, older equipment may become less effective. If your energy bills are going up the roof and your system needs frequent repair, maybe it is the time to bid farewell to your old HVAC.
Older equipment usually means duct problems, improper equipment operation or inadequate insulation. As a result, some rooms in your home may be too cold or too hot. Wasting precious energy is a significant disadvantage to your budget, to say the least, especially if nobody is at home during the day. Older HVAC, most of the time, do not offer programmable thermostats. Call Sig Cox Heating & Air Conditioning to install a programmable thermostat for you. It will save you money and energy while you are out of your home or if you are sleeping.
Old or outdated equipment that operates poorly in combination with leaky ductwork may cause humidity problems. In the winter your home is too dry, and in the summer it is too humid. Also, excessive dust may occur, or it may well be that your old system is too noisy. Give us a call, and our technician will advise you accordingly. Call (706) 722-5304 today!
As stated above, if the equipment is in a poor state, it may cause humidity problems. Inadequate equipment together with leaky ductwork is a recipe for disaster.
AC system alone cannot control humidity in your home all year long. What is going to handle the moisture in your home if it is raining and cool outside? During such time neither your air conditioning or heater are running. The only thing that can do the job is a whole house dehumidifier. Call us for a free quote today at 706-722-5304 or email email@example.com.
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