Approximately 90% of American households have some kind of air conditioning. Most of those air conditioning systems are usually reliable, but they are just as subject to problems as any other appliance in the home. While we will always recommend contacting an HVAC professional if you suspect that something is seriously wrong with your air conditioner in Orange County, it still helps to know about some of the more common AC problems you might encounter and how to deal with them.
1. Water Leaks
Both indoor and outdoor AC units can leak water, especially if you neglect regular maintenance. For indoor units, a water leak is usually caused by a clogged condensate drain. Simply put, the water that is supposed to drain safely away from your AC unit has nowhere to go, so it ends up leaking onto your floor. This can cause serious damage to your home if it goes unchecked, so it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Most condensate drain clogs are caused by a buildup of algae or fungi, but sometimes the condensate pump breaks down completely and needs to be replaced. A clogged condensate drain can sometimes be cleared with a wet-dry vacuum or by using a small amount of vinegar to kill the algae or fungi in the drain, but it’s always best to contact us at White Mechanical, Inc. to fix the problem, especially if it turns out that you need a new condensate pump.
A water leak in an outdoor AC unit can be caused by a number of things, such as a broken condensate pan, a bad seal somewhere in the unit, or improper installation. You might notice a puddle underneath your unit if you have a leak. This is something that you won’t be able to fix yourself, so contact an HVAC professional to take care of the problem.
2. Refrigerant Leaks
The refrigerant in a central air conditioning system is what cools the air that circulates throughout your home. It can leak, which will affect your AC’s performance and possibly damage the environment. A minor leak can be patched up, while a larger leak usually requires you to replace your refrigerant lines. In any case, your refrigerant level will need to be topped off if you want your AC to work efficiently again. This repair and fluid replacement must be done by a professional.
3. A Dirty Air Filter
HVAC systems all have air filters that remove dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other harmful pollutants from your home’s air. Naturally, this filter gets dirty over time and needs to be cleaned or replaced. Changing your filter once a month is enough for most households, but if your AC filter gets so dirty that it needs to be changed more often, contact us at White Mechanical, Inc.. There might be other issues that need to be addressed.
4. Uneven Cooling
Certain rooms in your house will be warmer or cooler than others, but turning on your AC should balance everything out. However, you might find that some rooms are still colder or warmer than the rest of your house, even when your AC has been running.
If this is happening in your home, first check your vents. It’s easy to overlook them and forget that they’re closed. Opening them up is usually enough to get air moving through your living space and cool it off. If you do open your vents and you still don’t have enough airflow, you might have something blocking them or the ducts leading to them. Wipe the dust away from any dirty vents and make sure that they’re not blocked. Then, schedule duct cleaning with an HVAC professional. You can clean a dirty vent yourself, but a thorough duct cleaning will require expertise.
5. A Damaged Compressor
Your air conditioner’s compressor regulates air pressure in your home and helps the refrigerant carry out the heat exchange necessary to cool your residence. It’s one of the most important components of any air conditioning system, so it needs to be repaired if it’s damaged. A compressor can be damaged if it overheats due to a lack of refrigerant, so make sure to monitor your refrigerant level and have it topped off when an HVAC professional performs routine maintenance on your system. If your compressor is damaged, it will need to be repaired or replaced. Alert us at White Mechanical, Inc. to have one of our technicians take a look at your equipment and determine if you need a repair or a replacement.
6. A Malfunctioning Thermostat
Your thermostat controls the temperature in your home, and it can malfunction due to faulty temperature sensors, loose wiring, or dead batteries. If it seems that your home is always too hot or too cold no matter how you set your thermostat or if your AC keeps short cycling, first check your thermostat’s batteries. If you change the batteries and you still have problems, something else might be to blame. Rely on our technicians at White Mechanical, Inc., and let them take a look at it. You might need to repair or replace your thermostat with something else.
The placement of your thermostat could also be an issue. Your thermostat needs to have an accurate measure of your home’s temperature in order to work properly, which means keeping it in a common room away from any appliances that generate too much heat. To make sure that your thermostat is getting an accurate reading of your home’s temperature, place a glass thermometer next to it. If the readings in both devices match after 15 minutes, your thermostat is calibrated correctly.
7. Bad Smells
A clean and healthy air conditioner shouldn’t have any smell. If you turn on your AC and notice a musty odor coming from your vents, you might have dirty ducts or even mold growth in your home. If the smell is much worse than that and closely resembles rotten eggs, it’s possible that insects or other small animals have gotten into your vents and died.
A musty smell that goes away is no cause for alarm, but a stronger smell that remains is an indicator of something much worse. Be sure to have your cooling system thoroughly cleaned every spring before putting it to use, and contact us to clean your ducts if you have any bad smells that seem to linger.
Reach Out to the Local Experts
If you notice any of these common AC problems in your home and they’re more complicated than changing a filter, don’t hesitate to turn to us at White Mechanical, Inc. for assistance. We serve homeowners and businesses throughout Foothill Ranch, CA and the surrounding areas in Orange County, and we offer services such as AC repair, air duct cleaning, heating maintenance, and anything else that your HVAC system might need to continue working properly. We also have regular specials, so visit us online regularly for updates.
As always, if you have any questions about the heating and air conditioning services that we provide, contact us at White Mechanical, Inc. today.