You’ve heard it before: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Never was a truer word spoken when it comes to air conditioners. You can easily stop small problems snowballing into much bigger ones, but only if you catch them early enough. If you want to eliminate the possibility of your air conditioner suddenly spewing out warm air or grinding to silent halt when you need it most this year, now’s the time to book an air conditioning service.
Here are some of the most common problems that getting an air conditioning service could solve well before the heat is on.
Dirty air conditioner
A dirty air conditioner is one with a reduced air flow. If you’ve got a split system air conditioner, you may give your air conditioner a going over regularly with a vacuum cleaner from time to time. What you can’t see is that there are plenty of places where dust and debris can accumulate that aren’t as easily accessible. That includes the external compressor.
Your air conditioner’s filters and air conditioning coils require regular, thorough cleaning and inspection. If your air conditioner’s been neglected in this regard, it must work harder and less efficiently. Blocked filters can cause the coils to freeze up.
Regular cleaning and servicing of your air conditioner can save you money in the long run. It’s always a good idea to clean the filters and, in the case of a split system, remove any leaves, dust, dirt and debris trapped in the outside unit. In some cases, debris will impede or even stop your fan from turning, causing it to overheat.
Your air conditioner’s thermostat detects and regulates the temperature of the room. If there’s a problem with your thermostat, your air conditioner won’t operate properly. A thorough air conditioner service will detect and eliminate any problems with your air conditioner’s thermostat.
Water leaks or stagnation
Your air conditioner is designed to allow excess condensation to safely and efficiently drain from the unit. Problems arise when it doesn’t do this. This can cause a build-up of moisture inside the unit. Where moisture pools in a humid environment, it can lead to mould and algae forming. In turn, this can cause a bad smell and the dissemination of mould spores throughout your home or office. That can pose a health hazard, particularly if you have allergies. It can also lead to mould and mildew appearing throughout the rest of the building.
This is a problem that can easily be rectified with regular servicing to ensure that there are no blockages and that excess moisture is safely drained away. Any mould present can then be easily and safely treated.
Your air conditioner relies on a series of moving parts working smoothly together. As with any piece of equipment with moving parts, friction will lead to wear and tear. That will take its toll as time goes on. Mechanical problems with your air conditioner will often be accompanied by symptoms such as excessive noise or vibration. It’s inevitable you’ll need to replace worn moving parts in order to keep your air conditioner running smoothly.
A regular air conditioner service includes scrutiny of the inner workings of your air conditioner. It’s the only way to ensure any wear and tear is detected early. That way, replacement parts can be ordered, delivered and fitted without the nightmare of a costly, inconvenient breakdown.
Refrigerant issues with your air conditioner are a ticking time bomb. It’s often the type of problem only a thorough service will uncover. Refrigerant problems occur when:
- a refrigerant line has been kinked or punctured at installation
- the refrigerant was either underfilled or overfilled during the charging process when your air conditioner was installed, or
- a leak has developed.
A refrigerant leak can lead to a frozen coil, though this can also be caused by blocked ducts or filters in your air conditioner.
A refrigerant leak is a serious matter. That’s especially the case if you’ve got an old air conditioner. The ozone depleting substances typically found in older refrigerants are being phased out because of the risks they pose to the environment. They can also be a health hazard if handled incorrectly.
If your air conditioner service detects a lower refrigerant level than there should be, it can be rectified. Leaks can be repaired and tested. The refrigerant can then be recharged in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications. Because of the potential environmental impact, only a licensed professional should handle refrigerant issues with your air conditioner. It’s not something you should ever attempt to fix yourself.
Electrical problems with your air conditioner can easily stop it from working. If your air conditioner’s tripping your circuit breaker or blowing a fuse, you should be hearing warning bells. Electrical problems with your air conditioner can potentially expose you to a risk of electrocution or a house fire.
Electrical problems can arise from wiring being inadvertently crimped at the time of installation. In some cases, it can also result from rodent damage. Installation by a person who’s not qualified and licensed is also a sure-fire guarantee of electrical problems arising down the track. Again, you shouldn’t attempt to fix an electrical issue with your air conditioner unless you’re qualified to do so. Leave it to licensed professionals.
When an air conditioner is installed, there’s ample opportunity for things to go wrong. For example, rough handling during installation can mean that the air conditioner can sustain damage. That damage can then go undetected for some time. An experienced air conditioner serviceperson will check to ensure that your air conditioner was installed correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
The benefits of a regular air conditioner service
By far, the best thing you can do to prolong the life of your air conditioner and ensure it runs efficiently is to ensure that you book a regular air conditioning service. It’s also likely to be an important rider in the small print of your warranty. Failing to do so may well mean you won’t be covered by the warranty if there’s a problem.
Getting a professional to do your air conditioner service also means it’s done at a time that suits you and greatly reduces the likelihood of having to try and find someone to deal with a breakdown when you’ve got better things to do.
A regular air conditioning service will also ensure that you nip any small problems in the bud well before they grow into big ones that will bite you where it really hurts: In the hip pocket.
Don’t know if you need to book an air conditioning service? For some honest, good old-fashioned advice, contact the team at H & H Air Conditioning in Brisbane on (07) 3276 1800 or on the Sunshine Coast (07) 5477 1777.