An AC has become a vital domestic device that is present in the majority of households. Most of us use and own an AC. Most of us have also gone through the hassle of finding various defects and malfunctions in an AC. This can create the stress of finding a professional to resolve the issue. Sometimes, we don’t even understand if the issue requires professional help or not.
Today, in this article, we will help you in tackling this issue. We have listed the major malfunctions and problems that an average AC unit faces along with their most suitable solution to help you diagnose why your AC is facing these problems. Read along to find out why your AC is not working properly.
Problems with AC & Solutions
1. The Problem: Water Leaking from Indoor unit
Solution: Water leaking from an indoor unit is a common problem in a split AC system. There can be many reasons for this such as dirty air filters, refrigerant leaks, broken or blocked pipes etc. If not treated, this can cause major problems and even render your AC useless.
The leakage can vary from a little trickle to major leakage. The first thing you need to do in both cases is to stop using the AC for the time being. This is because if you don’t stop using the AC then the water leaking might freeze over inside the condenser and add extra pressure to the unit which might completely damage your AC.
There are a couple of things you can do if you notice water leaking out of your unit:
- Clean the air filters: This is the easiest thing you can do to resolve the water leakage. Sometimes dirty air filters do not allow the air to properly get released into the room, which causes excessive cooling inside the unit, this might result in water formation inside the unit due to condensation.
To resolve this just clean the air filters by running them underwater and using a gentle washing soap to clean them properly. You can also clean the copper evaporator coils using a no-rinse coil foam. Both the evaporator coils and the filters need to be clean so that the fresh air can be released into the room properly.
- Check for ice formation: Also, you should check if there is an ice formation on the evaporator coil of the AC. If you notice any ice formation then there might be a low level of refrigerant in your AC. Shut down the AC immediately and allow the ice to completely melt off. You should also call an HVAC professional as refrigerant is highly toxic and can harm your health if the leaking continues.
- Another thing you should check is the condensate drain pipes. Located just below the indoor unit, this pipe is responsible for draining excess water from the unit. If this pipe is blocked it will not be able to properly drain the water and cause leakage inside the unit. You can check if the pipe is blocked and clean it to ensure proper drainage of excess water.
2. The Problem: Low refrigerant
Solution: Refrigerant is the main component in an AC. It is a chemical that can change its state from liquid to gas and back to liquid. This constant change in state is essential to the cooling process of the AC. Sometimes there is a refrigerant leakage and this can cause a below level of refrigerant in the unit, this low level of refrigerant will reduce the cooling capacity of the AC and might also cause health problems.
If you notice that the AC is working but it is not releasing cool air or if there is a hissing sound coming from the unit then there might be a refrigerant leakage. Another clue is if your electricity bills are significantly higher than average then also there might be a refrigerant leakage.
Refrigerant leakage is a serious problem and if you suspect that your AC is leaking refrigerant then you must immediately call an HVAC professional to confirm it and resolve the issue. You should also refrain from using the AC until the problem is solved.
3. The Problem: Thermostat glitches
Solution: Thermostat glitches are also a pretty common problem that can give stress. A thermostat is the brain of the AC, it allows you to control the temperature of the AC and regulate the temperature according to your desired setting. Any defect in the thermostat will cause inconsistent cooling.
If you notice that the air conditioner is not responding to the remote or if your AC does not give the temperature that you set it to then your thermostat might have a problem. A faulty thermostat can only be corrected by a professional. So, you need to get it from a specialist.
4. The Problem: Dirty AC filter
Solution: Dirty air filters are one of the most common problems that AC owners face. It is one of the easiest and simplest problems to resolve. Dirty air filters can cause insufficient cooling, water leakage and a plethora of other problems if not rectified immediately.
To clean a dirty AC filter, all you need to do is gently remove them from the unit and run them under room temperature water. If the air filter is very dirty then you might even want to use a gentle home soap and a small washcloth to clean it. Then dry it completely and re-insert it in the unit.
5. The Problem: Strange Noises from AC
Solution: An AC can make many different noises. Some of them are normal while others can be a sign of malfunction or defects. For example, as stated above a hissing sound can be an indicator of refrigerant leakage and faulty electrical components will result in spark-like buzzing noises. Similarly, a faulty fan will produce clicking or screeching noise. Any unfamiliar noise in an AC needs to be looked at by a professional.
6. The Problem: Frozen Evaporator coil
Solution: Sometimes you might notice ice forming on the evaporator coil. This might be due to a refrigerant leak or due to an insufficient supply of air inside the unit. If you notice ice formation, then you need to immediately stop using the AC to avoid further damage to the unit. Then, use a no-rinse coil foam to clean the coils and the air filters as well. Do not use the AC until the ice has melted completely. If the problem still persists then get it checked by a professional.
7. The Problem: Bad odour from AC
Solution: Just like strange noises, the bad odour can also be of different types. Depending on the type of odour your AC is emitting, you might be able to diagnose the problem. If your AC is releasing burning odour then there is a high chance of damage in the electrical wires inside the AC.
Similarly, if the odour smells like car exhaust then it might be due to a refrigerant leakage in the unit. This will give you a peculiar smell. In such a scenario, you should immediately turn off your AC and get it checked by a professional to repair the damage.
There might also be mould growth in the filters or the evaporator coil which will lead to a bad odour. If the smell is a decaying smell then that might be due to dead insects or rodents inside the unit. You should clean the unit and if the problem still persists then you should get it checked.
8. The Problem: The condenser is not working
Solution: The condenser is an important part of the AC and any problem with the AC will put extra pressure on the condenser and damage it. These problems can range from refrigerant leakage to blocking on the filters and evaporator coils to electrical failures etc. All these problems will cause undue pressure on the condenser and cause damages.
In order to minimise the damage to the condenser, you should always keep it clean and ensure that there is no dirt or debris on the condenser unit. This might solve some minor issues with the condenser but if the problem is major then you need to get it checked by a professional. You might even need to replace the condenser if the damages are beyond repair.
You can prevent this by regularly servicing the AC and keeping it maintained. This will minimise the extra pressure on the condenser and increase its performance and longevity.
9. The Problem: Fan failures
Solution: There are two fans in an AC unit, one in the indoor unit and another in the outdoor unit, both the fan has the same function of blowing the air inside the unit to outside, the indoor unit does so to blow cool air into the room and the outdoor unit does so to release the hot air from the outdoor unit.
A unit on regular usage will experience many problems, some of them might be easier to solve on your own while others will require professional help and a large chunk of money to solve. Therefore, it is very important to keep your AC in the best condition. It is also important to know when to replace the unit as an old unit will consume a lot of money and create hassle due to frequent breakdown and repair.