Nothing beats cranking up the air conditioning on a particularly hot day, but that instant gratification is subdued when you find your air conditioner isn’t actually working. Instead, you’re left on a wild goose chase trying to figure out what’s wrong with your air conditioner and how you can get it working again.
Your air conditioner may fail during the summer for numerous reasons, whether something causes it to freeze up or it simply blows warm air instead of cool air. Check out some of these common causes of summer A/C breakdowns to figure out what’s wrong with your unit.
A refrigerant leak is one of the worse problems you can have with your air conditioner. Your air conditioner uses refrigerant as part of the process of creating cool air for your home, so a lack of refrigerant means you won’t get the relief you’d hoped for.
That’s not the only problem caused by refrigerant leaks. A refrigerant leak can also cause your AC unit to freeze up during the summer, at which point you have to shut your AC off, wait for it to thaw, and let the excess condensate drip off before starting it up again.
The real problem with refrigerant leaks is that they are often hard to diagnose and expensive to repair. If a refrigerant leak is on your list of summer air conditioning problems, you may be better off simply replacing your AC unit. Even if you do have a technician refill your refrigerant, chances are it will leak through the same hole it originally leaked through.
Blocked airflow is another common air conditioner problem during the summer. The tough part about blocked airflow is figuring out the actual source of the blockage so you can get things running smoothly again. The most common cause of airflow restrictions in AC units is the air filter. This filter should be checked once a month and changed every few months at the very least.
You may notice a blockage in airflow if your AC unit freezes up and stops working. When there isn’t enough air moving across the condensate coil, the condensate on the coil will begin to freeze. In this case, you’ll need to turn off your AC, let it thaw, find and remove the blockage, then resume using your AC again.
Preventing Summer AC Problems
Summer is the absolute last time you want to have problems with your AC, so it’s important to take preventive measures to make sure your air conditioner has a low chance of breaking down in the summer.
Regular air conditioner maintenance such as cleaning the unit and changing the air filter is usually enough to keep your AC unit running for its life expectancy. You should also make sure the fins are straight and clean and the evaporator coil is nice and clean. You can find helpful guides for properly maintaining your AC online and purchase cleaning products and other tools at a hardware store near you.