How To Spot Problems With Your Air Conditioner

Whether you are in an office, a store, or at home, your air conditioner is constantly working to keep the space cool and comfortable. However, there's more than just one type of AC so knowing exactly what system you have and what does air conditioning do, can help when trying to diagnose problems with your unit. The three major types of systems include:

Central Air Conditioning - A large system made up of various parts that work together to chill the air in a house or business. These systems feature high-power cooling components such as compressors and cooling towers. This AC type is often found in commercial businesses and larger homes where you will find multiple zones (individual rooms that each have their own temperature control) and ductwork (vents that distribute cooled air).



What Common Problems Do Air Conditioning Systems Have?

There are a number of issues that could be plaguing your air conditioning system and making it difficult to keep you comfortable at home or work. Some of the most common problems include:

Leaking System - If left unaddressed, corroded, and punctured evaporator coils can cause serious damage as well as allow humid, unfresh air into the building. A hydrometer can be used to check for this problem by testing the relative humidity levels. Low refrigerant charge is another major cause of leaking AC systems and rather than wait until you see visible signs of a leak (such as water on the ground) it's best to call an AC professional before something goes wrong.

Low Running Capacity - One common reason why AC units run inefficiently or produce insufficient cooling is poor airflow. This can happen for a number of reasons but the most frequent cause is blocked air vents. These are easy to clean using an all-purpose cleaner and it's worth checking these before calling in an AC pro.

No Cooling - If your AC system isn't producing any cool air, there are numerous things that could be causing this problem. A common reason for no cooling is low refrigerant levels which means you need to hire a professional with experience servicing your particular model of AC unit.


Can I Diagnose AC Problems Myself?

While some AC problems are easy to spot, it's best not to diagnose larger issues yourself unless you have had training. While large house systems can be more complicated than smaller ones, the components are still relatively straightforward and not very different from those found in a car. If you do decide that you'd like to give diagnosing your system a go yourself then consider purchasing some diagnostic tools such as an infrared thermal imaging camera which allows you to see where there are leaks on the unit without having to physically touch anything. Hiring an expert might seem expensive but it could save time, money, and headaches in the long run if you let someone else handle this task for you.



Do I Need an Expert To Diagnose AC Problems

Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether you need a professional to diagnose AC problems. If the casual home user is going to try and diagnose an AC problem themselves, make sure they have all of the necessary tools first as some diagnostic cracks will require specialized equipment. In addition, each state has different laws regarding who can work on an air conditioning system so make sure that whoever decides to do the job has the necessary qualifications for your area.