Air conditioning problems are much more likely to occur during the summer, due to the added wear and tear the system suffers from being used many more hours of the day. Preventive maintenance helps to keep the odds of a serious issue developing low, but it’s still not a guarantee that the system will go the entire summer without having some sort of problem. While you are using your air conditioner this summer, we highly recommend that you keep an eye out for the following signs that it is in some sort of trouble.
If there is fluid leaking from your air conditioner, there is a chance that you have a refrigerant leak in your system. Refrigerant is a core part of your air conditioner. It is the fluid that makes it possible for the system to cool your home by siphoning heat from the air in the ducts. The air conditioner recycles refrigerant throughout its life, and should never need to have new fluid introduced unless a leak develops. Refrigerant leaks are a serious problem because they deprive the air conditioner of output capacity. The lower the refrigerant level in the system falls, the less able it will be to cool your home. If the refrigerant level drops too low, the system will eventually break down entirely. Call for repairs if you notice fluid dripping from your air conditioner.
If your air conditioner isn’t blowing as much air as it normally does, you likely have a problem. There could be a number of different reasons why your air conditioner isn’t circulating as much air as it normally does. It’s possible that you have a clogged air filter, which prevents a lot of the air from entering the air conditioner from the ducts. No air flow means no air for the system to circulate. It’s also possible that you have a malfunctioning air handler. The air handler is the motor/fan combo part that actually blows air through the ducts during operation. If the air handler isn’t functioning, the system won’t be able to blow any air at all. If the air filter is the source of the problem, then you can pretty easily replace it. If the air handler is the issue, though, you’re going to need a professional to repair it for you.
If your air conditioner isn’t completing a full cooling cycle before shutting off, it’s short cycling. This is a serious issue that prevents the system from cooling properly. It also increases the rate at which the system wears out. Prolonged short cycling makes it much more likely for the system to break down in the long run, and shortens its lifespan by several years. Have a technician take a look at your system if it’s short cycling, or you’ll have to replace it early.