There’s nothing more annoying than your air conditioner going on the blink when you need it most. However, there are often warning sounds that there is an issue long before the unit breaks. There are signs you can look and listen out for that will let you know it’s time to service your air conditioner or get it checked out by an expert.
Other times, your aircon simply isn’t working as efficiently as you want it to. Let’s take a look at the common questions air conditioner installers, and maintenance teams get asked.
Why is my air conditioner running, but not cooling the air?
This issue could be caused by one of many factors. They include:
- Problems with the power supply.
The first thing to check before you call a technician is to check the unit is still plugged into the outlet correctly, and that the cord is still intact. If you don’t find any issues there, it could also be related to your electrical panel. Check that a fuse hasn’t broken or a breaker hasn’t tripped. Your unit may also have an overload switch built in, which should also be checked before you schedule a callout.
- An issue with the thermostat
Check that the thermostat on your unit is set at the correct temperature. The wiring or batteries (depending on your unit) may need looking into.
- A clogged filter
Some air conditioners automatically shut down if the filter is clogged to prevent the motor from overheating. A clogged filter can also restrict airflow. Get this checked out and cleaned if necessary.
- A buildup of ice
Dirty coils and filters lead to reduced airflow or a lack of refrigerant. This can lead to a buildup of ice. Cleaning the air conditioner’s filter and the coils should improve the airflow and resolve it. Note, you will first have to run the fan to melt the ice. If this doesn’t work, it may indicate that the refrigerant levels are low.
- The drain could be clogged
Air conditioners remove moisture from the air. The pipe through which the water drains can become blocked with algae, causing the unit to shut down. This is a safety feature to prevent water from backing up the unit.
- The compressor could be dirty
Debris, shrubs, and leaves can collect around the unit, restricting airflow.
Why is my aircon making a buzzing sound?
If your aircon is making a buzzing noise, you could be experiencing one of the following issues:
- A malfunctioning compressor. The compressor pressurizes and cools the refrigerant in the unit. This sound could indicate the compressor isn’t working correctly, or that the voltage flowing through your outdoor air conditioner is not correct.
- The isolation feet. The compressor is mounted to the AC unit base. It sits on rubber objects called isolation feet. These can crack or disintegrate. The compressor then become unbalanced, causing a buzzing noise when in operation.
- The AC unit is frozen. When refrigerant leaks, it can freeze, causing a buzzing sound.
- Parts are loose. Loose bearings, for example, can cause damage to other areas of the unit, causing the buzzing noise you hear.
Why does my air conditioner switch itself off?
If you find the unit keeps switching off after every 15 minutes or so, it could be one these issues at play:
The first step is to check the setting of the thermostat. Try adjusting it to a lower setting and see if it stays on longer. Then, check the timer to see if the unit has been switched off its usual mode. Finally, consider the location of the thermostat.
A thermostat that is on the shady side of the house or near the AC vent could be sensing a temperature that is lower than the actual heat of the room. Moving it could be an easy fix for this issue.
How regularly should I service my air conditioner?
The answer from the experts is to service your HVAC system annually. First, check your warranty to check if this is stipulated because ignoring this clause could mean your warranty loses its validity.
If your aircon is running normally, you may think this is an unnecessary cost. Firstly, it doesn’t need to be costly, as most service providers offer cost-effective annual maintenance programs. It could even save you money in the long term. An HVAC system that is working efficiently will need less power to operate. This means lower energy bills for you. It is estimated that it could save you up to 15% of your electricity bill.
A yearly maintenance callout can also prevent premature breakdowns. Even small repairs can cost a few hundred dollars. By picking up minor issues before they become big ones, you can save money by preventing the need for parts to be replaced.