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Families rely on their air conditioning to stay cool through the hottest summer days. Does your air conditioner not seem to be cooling as well as normal? Perhaps it sounds like it’s straining or running longer than usual to get the job done. Issues with your heating can be another major problem in the winter months. The following tips can give you an idea of what to check in your HVAC system that may be causing trouble with how your unit functions.
Check Your Air Filter
Any HVAC unit needs to take fresh air in that it then conditions and recirculates through your home. To avoid contaminants getting into the system, there will be a filter between the intake vent for this air and your furnace or central air conditioner. Changing your air filter regularly should be a routine maintenance item that you handle every couple of months. If it has been a while since you’ve done this, take it out, and look at it to see if it’s clogged with dust and dirt. If it is, changing it will probably be a simple fix to whatever issues your air handling unit is having, as mentioned at HVAC in St Louis.
Examine the Thermostat
When your air conditioner is simply failing to come on, the problem may be with your thermostat. Check the display to see if it looks bright and readable. A modern digital thermostat will have batteries to make it function. If these are low or dead, the display will be faded or blank. Changing the batteries is something very simple you can try without having to call a repair technician. If you change the batteries, and it still doesn’t work, you may need to have it replaced.
Is Your Ductwork Intact?
You can encounter a situation where your air handling unit turns on and sounds just fine, but you still don’t feel much air pressure coming out of the vents. This may only be the case in one or two rooms. If the force of air coming out of vents in other rooms is just fine, this is a sign that there might be a break in the side of your ducts leading to the room in question that’s allowing air to leak out of the system. It’s also possible that the ducts may be clogged. When the vent itself is simply clogged with dirt and dust, this is an easy cleaning job for you to handle. On the other hand, clogged or leaking ducts will need to be cleaned or sealed by a professional.
Look for Signs of Low Refrigerant Levels
One sign that your air conditioner’s refrigerant is low would be blowing air that is not as cold as it should be. This results in the unit having to operate much longer to bring your home to the desired temperature, which will give you a huge electric bill.
Check for condensation water on the floor near the furnace.
Seeing any ice on the copper lines emanating from the AC can also be a sign of low refrigerant levels. If you see any of these signs, call an HVAC service technician promptly. This service call will be cheaper than the monthly electric bills you’ll be getting over many months of a hot summer.
Check the Condenser Coil Unit
Central air conditioning will have an evaporator coil inside your home and the condenser coil outside. This is the part of your system that releases the hot air outside the home. The condenser coil unit will have metal covers on all sides that have slits that enable air to flow freely. Sometimes, bushes or overgrowth can get too close and clog these slits and make it difficult for the unit to vent the hot air. As with ensuring you change your air filter regularly, you shouldn’t wait for this to become a problem. Make it a routine to keep the area immediately surrounding your condenser unit free of anything that could obstruct it.
Take a Look at Your Condenser Fan
This fan pushes the hot air out through the aforementioned slots in the cover on your condenser unit. When you hear your air conditioner running, you should just peek inside your condenser unit every once in a while to see that this fan is turning. When this fan fails, the heat will just accumulate inside your condenser unit, which will damage your system over time.
A Bad Contactor
The contactor is the physical device within your condenser unit that makes the compressor come on when your thermostat tells it. When this goes bad, it won’t make contact, which means the fan and compressor won’t come on. Another way it can go bad is that the contractor might get stuck in the closed position. This will make your fan and compressor run continuously regardless of how you set the thermostat. If you’re in a situation where your unit won’t shut off, that’s a good indication that you have a bad contactor. At that point, all you can do is pull the circuit breaker or the disconnect on the unit, and then call a professional to service it.
Maintain Your HVAC System
The above tips can certainly be useful whenever you notice problems with your furnace or air conditioner. The best advice, though, would be not to wait for such problems to strike. Being proactive in maintaining your HVAC system will pay huge dividends by keeping it running smoothly for as long as possible. Regularly changing the air filter and taking a few other simple steps, and having a professional come and service the unit annually will hopefully keep you from having problems diagnosing.