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The 5 Most Common HVAC Breakdowns

Your air conditioning unit is a machine, and like all machines, they can wear out – especially without regular maintenance. In order to diagnose problems with your HVAC unit, it’s helpful to know the most common breakdowns.

1. Check Your Breaker

If your AC unit has stopped working, the first thing you should do is check your breaker. Breakers trip for a number of reasons:

  1. Circuit Overload – Circuits become overloaded when the devices tied to that circuit demand more amperage than it can supply.
  2. Ground Fault – Ground faults occur when a hot wire hits a ground wire or something grounded. It’s essentially a form of short-circuiting.
  3. Short-Circuiting – A short circuit happens when two hot wires, or a hot wire and a neutral wire, touch and send extra amperage through the circuit – tripping the breaker.
  4. Issues with the Appliance – Large electrical devices can pull too much energy as they begin to break down and end up tripping your breaker.

AC compressors are liable to overheat and pull too many amps. Check your breaker box if your AC unit stops working. Look for your switch to be turned to the OFF position and turn it back on, then check to see if your AC unit starts running again.

2. Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant runs through your HVAC unit and cools the air that comes out. If your refrigerant line is leaking you may experience the following:

  • Loss of Cooling Power
  • Hissing Sounds Coming From Your Indoor Unit
  • Frozen Coils
  • Higher Energy Bills

Diagnosing a refrigerant leak can be difficult to do yourself. If you are experiencing a few of the symptoms above, call an AC professional to take a look at your air conditioner.

3. Blown Capacitors

Capacitors store energy and send a jolt of electricity to the motor to keep it running. This means that your HVAC unit won’t have adequate power to run if your capacitor blows. Symptoms of a blown capacitor include:

  • Humming noises.
  • Your AC unit turns off on its own.
  • Your AC unit won’t turn on.
  • High and rising energy bills.

4. Broken Thermostats

If your thermostat is broken, it may lead you to think that your air conditioner has broken down. The first thing to check is if your thermostat has power. If your thermostat has no power, it may need new batteries.

Other signs of a broken thermostat include differences between the thermostat setting and the room temperature, your AC unit won’t turn on, or won’t turn off. Check to make sure that your wires are clean and well connected, and that all elements in your thermostat is clean (for mechanical thermostats).

5. Dirty Condenser or Evaporator Coils

Regularly replacing your filter is key to keeping your air conditioning running smoothly. If your filter isn’t regularly changed, dirt can get into your condenser and evaporator coils, which can lead to decreased efficiency and ultimately shut your unit down if it gets too bad.

Has Your Maintenance Been Inadequate?

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your air conditioning running smoothly for longer. Our experienced technicians can look for signs of wear and tear, and replace any parts that may be starting to break down. Contact us today if your HVAC unit has been showing signs of breaking down – we can help diagnose your problem!