Category - Air Conditioning
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 13 Jun ● 6 min read

Top 5 common air conditioner problems and how to fix them

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new air conditioning system for your home or you’re wondering why your current system isn’t functioning like it once was when it was first installed, then it may have run into a problem that needs fixing. With regular use comes wear and tear, leading to air conditioner problems or component breakages if not properly looked after.  

It’s important to be able to identify the most common problems within your air conditioning system which could lead to much bigger problems or system malfunctions in the future. In this guide, we’ll cover the most common air conditioner problems and how you can prevent them, to keep your system running as smoothly as possible.

Air conditioner common problems

Over the life of your air conditioner, you may experience a number of different problems. It’s worth knowing what could happen beforehand so you’ll know how to tackle a problem if it arises.

1. Improper operation

Surprisingly, improper operation is one of the main air con problems. The main problem here is opening windows and doors while your air conditioning system is turned on. If this happens, your air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to function. Working twice as hard means that your system is more likely to fail from excessive wear and tear. Always ensure that windows and doors are closed for maximum efficiency.

2. Lack of maintenance

Over time, your system will become dirty or may begin to clog up with dust or stray debris that has been sucked into the system from the air. Even though you’ll have filters installed to rid your system of these materials, they’ll need a thorough clean regularly to rid your system of it. If you don’t clean your filters or fans, you’ll soon find that they’ll become clogged and unable to function. This can cause more problems later down the line, so maintenance is important.

3. Leaks from the system

Sometimes you can find that your system begins to run low on refrigerant. There can be two main reasons for this; either your system didn’t have the right amount of refrigerant added during the installation process, or there is a leak somewhere within your system. System leaks can be quite easy to identify, but spotting the exact point of the leak can be more tricky.

If your refrigerant is leaking, you shouldn’t take measures to top up your system with more inhibitor - this won’t solve the leak and over time, you’ll see the same air conditioner problems. You should get in touch with an engineer if you suspect a leak, who will then be able to give you the necessary recommended steps to take to fix the issue.

The refrigerant levels should match the recommendations from the manufacture of your air conditioning system, so this can be used as a guide to determine if there is a leak in the system. Leaks should be dealt with as soon as they arise as they can be damaging to the environment and also to others who come into contact with the substance.

4. Drainage issues

Issues around the drainage of your air conditioning system can cause a breakdown quickly if not sorted out as soon as possible. Drainage problems can happen for a few different reasons. For example, if the air conditioning units aren’t mounted level on your walls, your system won’t be able to drain properly, and could cause flooding of the system. It’s also worth checking your drain to ensure it isn’t clogged and that waste liquids are able to drain away with no problems.

5. Faulty thermostat sensors

Home air conditioners have a thermostat sensor which will manage the air temperatures in the room to ensure they’re perfect for your specific requirements. If a sensor’s position is shifted for any reason, then it may affect the running of your system and could cause it to function incorrectly. You should take care not to alter the position of the thermostat once installed.

How to fix air con problems

If you’re noticing some air conditioner problems within your system, here are some quick fixes to ensure you prolong the life of your units for as long as possible:

Dirty filter?

If your dirty or clogged filter is restricting the air flow within your system and preventing it from effectively cooling the air into your home, you should clean or change it as soon as you are able. Filters on an air conditioning system should be changed at least once per month for optimum results, sometimes even more depending on if you have any pets, multiple occupants or if you have your air conditioning system running regularly.

Is there a warm air flow?

Warmer air is one of the more common air conditioner problems and completely defeats the point of having an AC system to begin with. The main reason for this could be that there is a flow of air coming into your home space. Make sure you close all windows and doors while your air conditioner is turned on and ensure any draughts are sealed using weatherstripping.

Are your thermostat settings correct?

If your thermostat isn’t functioning as it should, or it’s not giving you the correct air temperature, then you should check your thermostat settings in the first instance. Programmable thermostats allow you to control your air conditioning temperatures with ease or even schedule your air temperature via a mobile app, even when you’re not at home. As mentioned previously, it’s also important to ensure your sensors haven’t been knocked or have moved position for any reason.

Air con leak fix

If you’ve noticed or suspect there is a leak in your air conditioning system, then you shouldn’t put off getting it fixed. You should get in touch with an engineer right away to fix the problem before it gets out of hand. An engineer will use a number of methods to identify the air con leak, including using a fluorescent dye to try and pinpoint the exact site.

Fix your air conditioner problems as soon as they arise.

Catching problems while they’re small can prevent them from becoming much bigger. If you’re wondering how to fix air con problems within your system, or aren’t sure what to look out for, contact your air conditioning system manufacturer for more details. Alternatively, you can chat to one of our engineers instantly using our live chat to discuss any worries you may have.

If you have a Samsung Air Conditioning system, please read our guide on Samsung air conditioning fault codes & solutions.

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