DIY: How to Troubleshoot and Fix Common AC Issues

custom air conditioning running next to apartments
One of the many challenges you will inevitably face as a homeowner are maintenance issues, particularly when it comes to your air conditioner.

Generally, the most common problem that arises with AC units is it failing to emit cool air. There are a few different reasons why this can occur. While some of these problems can be large enough to require the professional attention of an HVAC specialist, there are many problems you can fix yourself.

Here’s a list of DIY tips for troubleshooting the most common air conditioner issues:

One of the most common causes of a faulty AC—especially when the unit stops adequately cooling the area—is a dirty filter. No worries, this is easily fixable. Open the housing panel of the unit and you should be facing the filter, and from there you can determine whether this is indeed the problem. Some air conditioners require new filters every few weeks, while others need one every few months. Either way, you should find out how often you need to change your air filter and buy them accordingly. You might also have an AC that only requires you to clean out the existing filter and place it back inside. No matter what type of AC unit and filter system you have, make sure it’s clean and the air flow should resume.
Another issue that can affect your air conditioner occurs when it’s been running for too long, which can cause it to stop working. In these situations, many units shut off when the cooling effects of the AC cause the components to develop ice. Once ice develops around the machinery, AC units typically shut off on their own. If this happens, you should switch the unit off or change the function to fan. From there the ice will gradually melt and bring the unit back to its normal state of operation.

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Often, the internal condenser fins of an air conditioner can become clogged with dust and debris due to a dirty air filter that requires cleaning or replacement. If this occurs, you can remedy the situation by cleaning the filter out and then using special brushes meant specifically for cleaning condenser fins to get the dust and debris out, allowing your AC to function properly.

If the insulation on the outdoor lines of your central air conditioner have rotted, it can cause the unit to run less efficiently, which can translate into a hefty energy bill. Dealing  with this problem yourself is as easy as replacing the insulation with special insulation foam, available at most hardware stores. You will have to wipe away any condensation and wrap the service valve of the condenser on the tubing before applying the insulation. From there, the new foam goes over the tubing and atop the cork tape. Remove the liner of the adhesive once you’re done, align the edges and press the seams together. Cut insulation foam in the appropriate length and press onto the adhesive.

Sometimes, your AC unit will stop functioning due to a Freon leak. You can diagnose whether or not this is the issue by removing the cover of your air conditioner and examining the condenser coils. If the coils appear wet or dark in color, this typically signifies a Freon leak. For your safety, you should avoid handling the coils in this situation, and instead contact an HVAC specialist to handle the problem from there. Direct AC can help with this problem, and with our help we ensure your air conditioning unit will be back in working condition in no time.

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