Since central air conditioning systems are a necessity and mandatory components in most homes and businesses in the Raleigh, NC area this article will talk about some of the benefits and common problems that come with system ownership. Obviously the single biggest benefit to a properly running air conditioning system reduces both heat and humidity inside a home during the warmer months of the year. As a result, you as a home or business owner are able to enjoy comfortable and better air quality. In order to provide these benefits, AC systems need to be properly and regularly maintained usually two times per year. Here’s a look at some of the common problems and repairs that owners face with these systems as well as the potential problems that could result from lack of maintenance.
What are some of the common central air conditioning related problems?
1. Low Refrigerant
Also known as Freon, refrigerant is a chemical responsible for cooling the air within an air conditioning system. Low refrigerant levels are often an indication of a leak in the system, and it’s important that it is located and repaired as soon as possible. Older systems use R-22 Freon (discontinued in 2010) and newer systems, standard for 2015 must use R-410A Puron, which is less expensive.
2. Faulty Outside Fan Motor
The outside fan is an important part of an AC unit that conveys the heat from inside a home to the outside. If it fails to work correctly, heat transfer is significantly affected which can in turn make the air conditioning compressor to overheat (and trip the safety overload) or even cause internal damage in the compressor.
3. Frozen Coil
Another common problem with these systems is a frozen coil which often implies a problem with the airflow like restrictions due to a blocked return air duct work or filthy air filters. You should replace the filters multiple times per year. A frozen coil can also be caused by low refrigerant levels.
4. Other common central air conditioning problems:
• Sensor Problems, most units have several
• Capacitor or Switch failure
• Electric Control failure or Board failure
• Clogged Condensation Lines
• Dirty Air Filters
What are the potential problems of not having a properly maintained Air conditioning system?
1. Health risks due to poor air quality or mold
Poorly maintained air conditioning units can pose serious health risks to the occupants of a home. These systems are typically effective in circulating air throughout rooms and other spaces, and as such can easily spread pollutants and contaminants such as mold throughout a home. These can in turn cause different problems such as allergies and asthma.
2. High utility bills
Since air conditioners consume a significant part of the average power bills in homes in North Carolina, any neglect on maintenance and servicing could mean even higher bills. The air conditioning systems can potentially lose up to 5% of their overall efficiency each year and have to worker harder, therefore using more electricity, in order to serve their function.
3. Frequent breakdowns
If your AC unit is not properly maintained, it might not perform at its peak and could breakdown when you need it most. The unit can develop problems such as frozen lines, faulty wiring and low refrigerant which if not detected and corrected early enough, could cause it to malfunction or even completely fail. This would obviously cause a lot of inconvenience and cost you more money in AC repairs or replacement costs versus a good bi-annual maintenance plans.
4. Shorter lifespan
On average, these units have a lifespan of 12-15 years but they can breakdown before the end of that period if they’re not properly maintained. This is because problems with parts such as the condenser, thermostat and duct work won’t be fixed early enough, and could eventually lead to new problems. Moreover, the system has to work harder to cool your home.
In summary based on years of experience performing many types of HVAC repairs on most equipment manufacturers it comes down to proper bi-annual maintenance. Manufacturer’s warranties are good for major failures, but many repair situations can be avoided simple by purchasing a good multi-year maintenance plan from a quality HVAC repair company.