Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
Many homeowners pay little attention to the AC beyond changing the filters periodically, which means they do little to prevent a possible breakdown. Knowing the main reasons why your AC can fail can help you plan service and maintenance visits to avoid these problems.
1. Faulty Thermostat
Sometimes the AC is working just fine, but the thermostat has failed. Sometimes you can get the AC to fire on by adjusting the thermostat to the lowest setting. Upgrading your old thermostat to a newer model, perhaps a programmable model, is all that's needed to solve this issue.
2. Leaking Refrigerant
Refrigerant leaks will bring your cooling to a standstill. You might not see the leaking refrigerant, as it evaporates quickly, but you may hear a hissing noise as it leaks out, or your AC may freeze up or refuse to blow cool air.
3. Electrical Shorts
Issues in the electrical panel are more common than you might think. If the fuse in the breaker box is constantly being tripped, or if you smell a metallic burning odor from your AC unit, electrical shorts are the likely culprit.
4. Failed Capacitor
The capacitor is the powerhouse for your compressor and blower motor, so it's not uncommon for this to be the culprit if the unit completely shuts down. An AC tech will need to inspect your unit to verify that the capacitor requires replacement.
5. Motor Malfunction
The blower motor holds most of the moving parts of your AC, so issues here are common. An off balance fan blade or burnt out motor can lead to odd noises, poor cooling, or a total inability for the AC to pop on.
6. Clogged Drain
Every AC unit builds up condensation, which is then drained safely away from both the unit and your house through a drain hose. Sometimes the hose is short and empties into a drain pan, while in some designs it's routed into the home's gutter system. Algae, mold, and debris can clog the drain, causing water to collect around the AC. A cleaning solves the issue.
7. Compressor Malfunction
Compressors break down when there is too little refrigerant in the system or when the capacitor is starting to fail. Being out of level can also be hard on the compressor. Regular maintenance and AC tuneups prolong the life of your compressor, which is a good idea since this is one of the more costly AC repairs.
8. Condenser Coil Issues
The condenser coils are the vent-like fins on the exterior of your outside unit. Dirt and debris, as well as damage from lawn equipment, can compromise the coils' ability to transfer heat. Cleaning and straightening the coils is the solution.
AC maintenance is an important part of keeping your home cool. Contact an air conditioning maintenance service for more help.