Small Air Conditioning Repairs You Can Do Yourself

An air conditioning system requires periodic maintenance to keep it running smoothly. While the most common air conditioner repair issues require a professional, there are some small problems you can fix yourself!

First, check that the air conditioner has power by flipping the breaker or replacing a fuse. Then, clean the evaporator coils with a brush and mild detergent.

Thermostat Issues

A malfunctioning thermostat is a common reason for AC system failure. While some simple thermostat issues can be solved, others require professional attention to prevent further damage to your air conditioning system.

The most basic thermostat problem is when the unit doesn’t turn on. You may be able to check this by manually testing the wiring connections. If you find that the red power wire connects to the green fan wire, but it still doesn’t start the fan, it’s likely that the thermostat is faulty.

In addition to faulty connections, a lack of power to the thermostat can also be caused by dead batteries, a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. If you’re not comfortable working around electrical components, you should always leave these troubleshooting tasks to a professional, as they pose significant safety risks for inexperienced homeowners.

A dirty thermostat can also be a cause for problems. Over time, dust and nicotine buildup can affect a thermostat’s ability to read the indoor temperature accurately. To clean your thermostat, you can open it and use canned air or a soft brush to remove the dirt that has accumulated inside.

Another potential problem with your thermostat is short cycling, which occurs when the unit shuts off the compressor before completing a full cycle. This puts immense strain on the equipment and can drastically decrease its lifespan. You can often diagnose a thermostat that’s prone to short-cycling by noticing hot spots in your home, typically in the rooms that are farthest from the compressor.

You can also try a quick test to determine whether your thermostat is sending the correct signal to your AC. To do this, you’ll need to locate the outside unit of your home and listen for the sound of the fan turning on and off. The fan motor will make a whirring noise, while the compressor will emit a deep buzz similar to that of a refrigerator running. If you hear the fan turning on but not the compressor, it means the thermostat isn’t telling your AC to operate.

Compressor Issues

The compressor is the key component of your air conditioning system. It is the only moving part within the whole unit and as such, it's prone to more wear and tear than other components.

In some cases, the compressor might start acting up before you actually notice that anything is wrong with the system. For example, your electric bill might start to spike. This is due to the fact that your compressor may be working harder than normal to cool down your home. Fortunately, the problem can be fixed by simply adding refrigerant to your system.

Another sign that the compressor is starting to wear out is the fact that it takes longer for it to build up air pressure. This is because the motor in the compressor is beginning to overheat. This could be because the motor has been running for many years and is aging or because it's not getting sufficient power.

When the compressor is overheating, it will likely trip the circuit breaker. This happens because the motor needs to be supplied with a large amount of electricity. This can only be achieved if the compressor is connected to a direct power source. Extension cords and power bars should never be used to supply energy to a compressor motor as this can cause the motor to overheat and potentially even burn out.

Adding the correct oil to your compressor is vital to ensure it runs properly. You can check if you have the right type of oil in your compressor by examining its discharge air for a milky appearance. If you do have the wrong oil, you can replace it with a different kind of oil that has a similar viscosity. You might also want to drain and refill your compressor if it has too much oil in it.

Lastly, you might notice that your compressor is leaking air. If this is the case, you should unplug the unit and feel around the compressor parts for any signs of an air leak. Alternatively, you can use liquid soap on the connections, couplers and pressure switch while the compressor is unplugged to see whether or not bubbles form.

Freon Issues

Freon is a flammable, colorless, and tasteless substance that is used in air conditioning units to cool homes and businesses. A leak in the system can cause problems that affect a home or business’ ability to properly cool down, and it can be dangerous if a person breathes the gas into their lungs. The air conditioner may also be less efficient if it is losing Freon through the leak.

A Freon leak in an AC unit usually occurs in the evaporator coil. It is made up of straight copper tubes, "U" connectors, fins, and other refrigerant carrying pieces that are welded together at the factory to be leak proof. However, the elements can damage the copper lines through erosion over time, and it is possible for a small hole to appear in the coil.

Many people can recognize a Freon leak in an air conditioning unit by hearing unusual hissing or gurgling sounds during normal operation. The noise usually indicates that the coils are engulfed in ice crystals, which can be difficult to see but will probably cause the air conditioner to work less efficiently. Another sign of a Freon leak is that the air conditioner starts to blow warm or even hot air. This happens because the leaking Freon has caused the pressure in the pipes to drop below the needed level, causing it to lose efficiency.

If a person is concerned about a possible Freon leak in their AC unit, they should call Port St Lucie air conditioning repair to evaluate the issue. It is not safe to attempt to handle or refill the AC unit with Freon without proper training since it involves removing the chemical temporarily from the line and returning it. A professional will usually use a special tool to check for Freon leaks. The tool sends a current through the refrigerant and looks for any interference, which points to a possible leak.

A Freon leak will cause an air conditioner to have to work harder to cool the home or business, and it can eventually stop working entirely if it is not repaired. In addition, a leak in the Freon line will allow the harmful gas to escape into the environment and can have serious health implications for anyone with asthma or respiratory issues. The easiest way to prevent a Freon leak is to keep the area around the unit clean and keep lawnmowers, weed whackers, or other debris away from it. Keeping items like boxes and furniture from covering vents is also helpful as this will help the air circulate properly.

Electrical Issues

If you have an air conditioning unit that runs on electricity, you can expect some electrical issues to pop up from time to time. These can be complicated, requiring the services of trained technicians to properly troubleshoot and repair.

One of the most common electrical issues involves the capacitor, which stores charges and regulates power to different parts of the AC system. If this component goes bad, it may cause your compressor to stop working or to overheat. You can help your capacitor last longer by ensuring it is regularly cleaned and oiled.

Another common electrical issue is related to the relay, which transmits power to different motors throughout your system. If a relay becomes forced open (likely due to debris infiltration) it will prevent the motors from turning on. This can lead to the AC running continuously or refusing to turn off. Relays can also be prone to failure after contact with water. You can avoid this by keeping your system sheltered from the elements, as well as regularly cleaning and oiling the relays.

You can also keep an eye out for signs of an electrical problem, such as a tripped circuit breaker. If the breaker trips once, you can try resetting it (turn it off completely, then back on). But if the breaker keeps tripping, call in an HVAC technician immediately. This can indicate a range of problems, from damaged wiring to a defective or undersized circuit breaker.

In addition, you should look out for frayed or exposed wiring on both the inside and outside units of your AC. This could be a fire hazard, as well as a shock risk. Unless you have experience with electrical work, it's best to leave these types of repairs to the professionals.

You should also note any significant changes to your electric bill. An AC that uses more energy will cost more to operate, and you should have any spikes in your bills checked by a professional. This will allow them to find the cause of the change and fix it before it gets out of hand.

An air conditioning system requires periodic maintenance to keep it running smoothly. While the most common air conditioner repair issues require a professional, there are some small problems you can fix yourself! First, check that the air conditioner has power by flipping the breaker or replacing a fuse. Then, clean the evaporator coils with a…