As temperatures begin to rise with the changing seasons, you may assume that your air conditioner is ready to use as soon as you need it. Unfortunately, many homeowners experience air conditioner problems in the spring.
These problems often arise in the spring specifically due to the long period of time that the unit wasn't used over the winter. Before you turn your air conditioner back on for the warm season, you may not be able to spot potential issues.
Have your cooling system inspected at least once a year, preferably in the springtime. During your spring inspection, your chosen HVAC expert may recommend the following eight common seasonal air conditioning repairs.
1. Blown Fuse Assessment
Cooling systems can consume large amounts of energy. If your air conditioner has become inefficient due to obstructions or damage, the unit may trip circuit breakers or blow fuses when you try to run it. This problem can also occur if the power load in your house has changed since the last time you used the air conditioner.
The switch that powers your cooling system must be in the "on" position and the fuses must be in good condition for the air conditioner to run. If the breaker keeps tripping or fuses go out, a professional can assess your electrical panel and the air conditioner unit to determine the cause.
2. Capacitor Replacement
Your air conditioner's start capacitor transfers electrical voltage into the motor to start the system when your home needs cooling. If the capacitor has worn out, you may have trouble turning on your cooling system.
If the system does not switch on in response to thermostat changes, or if you notice that the unit takes a long time to begin producing cold air, a failing capacitor may be the cause. Luckily, replacing the capacitor can solve this common issue.
3. Coil Cleaning
Several of the most frequently needed springtime air conditioner repairs aren't actually repairs at all, just cleaning. Over the winter, unused climate control units, especially outdoor models, can become dirty and clogged with debris.
Specifically, your air conditioner's coils or motor may become obstructed. Evaporator coils are fairly delicate, so you'll want a professional to remove, clean, and replace the coils for you.
4. Filter Replacement
The condition of your air conditioner filter dictates the quality of your treated air as well as the efficiency of your cooling system. While your filter needs to be replaced more than once a year, many homeowners forget to get rid of the old filter at the end of the warm season or to replace it in the early spring.
Be sure to start the on-season off right by having an air conditioning professional check that your system filter is brand new during their maintenance visit.
5. Motor Bearing Replacement
Over time, motor components can become loose or wear out due to the large amounts of movement and strain that components experience while the air conditioner runs. Motor bearings power your air conditioner's compressor and fans. If the bearings sustain damage, your system may become noisy, inefficient, or even nonfunctional.
A routine inspection includes an evaluation of motor bearings conditions. This assessment is particularly vital if you've had the same air conditioning system for several years since these parts could be the first to wear out in an old system.
6. Motor Cleaning
A dirty air conditioner motor puts additional strain on the system. This grime may lead to higher power bills or even cause the motor to wear out more quickly.
Your system is more likely to accumulate dirt over the winter if you don't replace your filter often. Cleaning the motor and changing the filter are both essential for optimal unit performance.
7. Refrigerant Leak Patching
Refrigerant leaks often form due to corrosion. Certain types of corrosion, like chemically based formicary corrosions, are most likely to occur during the winter. This higher risk of corrosion is why many refrigerant leaks appear in the spring.
Even small leaks can affect your system's cooling capacity. Large refrigerant leaks can freeze your coils, generate unwanted noises, and put your air conditioner at risk of extensive related damage. Your HVAC technician can locate and patch any leaks that develop before refilling your refrigerant.
8. Thermostat Battery Change
If your heating system uses different controls than your cooling system, you may not notice issues with your AC thermostat until the system comes on for the first time in the year. Often, the thermostat just needs a battery replacement to run normally.
If your thermostat isn't tied into your home's electricity, ask your HVAC technician to check the batteries during your seasonal inspection.
Don't wait until the heat of summer to check that your air conditioning system can beat the heat. Make an appointment for a professional HVAC technician to assess and repair your system as necessary to keep your home comfortable in higher temperatures.