An air conditioner is an essential appliance in every household, especially during hot summer days. However, like all machines, it is prone to wear and tear, which can lead to malfunctions and reduced performance. Some of the most common issues that air conditioners face involve components that go bad over time. In this article, we will discuss the top five items that go bad in an air conditioner, causing it to malfunction.
Capacitors are electronic components that store electrical energy and release it when needed. They are responsible for starting the motor that drives the compressor and the fan. Over time, capacitors can weaken or fail due to excessive heat and vibration, causing the motor to fail to start or operate intermittently. Symptoms of a faulty capacitor include a humming sound coming from the unit but the compressor and fan not starting, or the compressor and fan turning on for a few seconds then turning off again. Replacing the faulty capacitor can solve these issues and restore the unit’s performance.
Refrigerant is the substance responsible for cooling the air inside the air conditioner. It circulates through a closed loop of coils, absorbing heat from the indoor air and releasing it outside. If the refrigerant leaks, the air conditioner will not be able to cool the air effectively, and the unit will work harder, increasing the risk of other components failing. Low refrigerant levels can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze, which can damage the compressor. Signs of low refrigerant levels include reduced cooling capacity, hissing or bubbling sounds from the unit, and ice buildup on the indoor coil. It is essential to call a professional technician to diagnose and repair refrigerant leaks and recharge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant.
The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system. It compresses the refrigerant and pumps it through the coils, transferring heat from the indoor air to the outdoor unit. If the compressor fails, the air conditioner will not cool the air, and the fan will continue to operate, blowing hot air into the room. Symptoms of a failing compressor include a buzzing or humming sound coming from the unit, reduced cooling capacity, and high energy bills. Replacing a compressor is a complex and expensive process, and it is often more cost-effective to replace the entire unit.
- Fan Motor
The fan motor is responsible for circulating air through the air conditioning unit, expelling hot air outside and blowing cool air into the room. Over time, the fan motor can wear out, leading to reduced airflow, noisy operation, and complete failure. A faulty fan motor can also cause the compressor to overheat and fail, leading to a more expensive repair. Signs of a faulty fan motor include rattling or squeaking noises coming from the unit, reduced airflow, and warm air blowing from the unit. Replacing a fan motor is a relatively simple and affordable repair that can improve the unit’s performance.
- Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is located inside the air conditioning unit and is responsible for absorbing heat from the indoor air. Over time, the coil can become dirty and clogged, reducing its ability to absorb heat and cool the air. A dirty evaporator coil can also cause the unit to freeze up and reduce airflow, leading to reduced cooling capacity and increased energy bills. Signs of a dirty evaporator coil include reduced cooling capacity, ice buildup on the coil, and a musty odor coming from the unit. Cleaning the evaporator coil is a straightforward repair that can improve the unit’s performance and prevent further damage.
In conclusion, regular maintenance and prompt repairs can prevent many of the issues that cause air conditioners to malfunction. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial to call a professional technician at Dollar Mechanical to diagnose your HVAC system.