Fixing the 10 Most Common Air Conditioner Problems

Image Of A Man Fixing An Aircon
HVAC technician working on a capacitor part for condensing unit.

Living in Australia means that you must endure more sweltering days than rain. This is why Aussies have come to love their air conditioners with more than half of all Australian households having one to deal with the weather. However, the last thing you want in such heat is air conditioner problems!

Addressing The Major Air Conditioner Problems

Like any other appliance, air conditioner problems will become inevitable at some point, especially when they’re used a lot. For some of you, it could spell disaster during a heat wave! Here, we will take a look at the most common issues that you will encounter and how to solve them.

1. Faulty circuit breaker

If you have a faulty air conditioner, a faulty circuit breaker often the reason! This is because it’s very easy to fix and doesn’t require the help of professionals. Your air conditioner is wired to a circuit breaker that protects its electrical components from electricity surges to prevent damage. There are times when the circuit breaker itself suddenly trips, especially after the power grid shuts down and restarts.

If this happens, don’t worry if your air conditioning unit doesn’t turn on. Just check your electrical box and find the switch labelled “AC”. If it has tripped, all you need to do is reset it. This should solve your issue and your air conditioning unit should work just fine!

2. Blocked air filters or coils

One of the most common reasons for air conditioner problems is a lack of maintenance. If you leave your air conditioning coils and filters without cleaning them for a long time, dust and other dirt will build up. This build up will force the compressor or fan to work harder and eventually fail. Dirty coils and filters can also lead to short cycling where your air conditioner runs for a short time and suddenly turns off. 

If this happens, your air conditioner could use some thorough cleaning. Filters should be washed at least every three to six months, especially if they’re easily covered in dust and dirt. Schedule cleaning before summer and winter to ensure that you don’t have a faulty air conditioner during peak season.

3. Refrigerant leak

A refrigerant is a substance that allows your air conditioning unit to convert hot air into cool air. This is done by changing the liquid to gas as it moves through your air conditioning system. Your unit needs enough refrigerant to help it function properly so any leak could result in one of the most common air conditioner problems.

Before things get worse, make sure that you contact a technician who knows how to fix the air conditioner. Refrigerants are also very hazardous to the environment so they need to be fixed right away.

4. Ice build-up

Have you noticed ice build-up in your unit? You might have a faulty air conditioner caused by a damaged fan blower belt. If ice builds up in your air conditioner, it will have a hard time releasing cool air. Therefor, it is best to amend any ice build-up when you lift the cover or check behind the filter.

The first step to fixing this issue is to turn your air conditioner off so that the ice can defrost. Depending on the amount of ice build-up, defrosting can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day. After this is completed, you need to have your unit checked by someone who knows how to fix the air conditioner in the house.

5. Faulty electrical controls

All air conditioners go through wear and tear, and electrical components are some of the first to wear out. This is even more-so true if they’re turned on and off frequently. If you have a vermin infestation in your home, it may have reached your air conditioning system. This can cause damage to your electrical controls by breaking down your boards and even tripping your circuit breaker.

Electrical issues are extremely dangerous to fix. In this case, you need the expertise of a technician to identify and address the problem!

6. Faulty thermostat

Your thermostat is crucial to your air conditioner as it regulates the temperature your air con is blowing out. Most air conditioners have a built-in thermostat sensor just behind the control panel. If you’re noticing that your unit is not blowing enough cold air, you may be having an issue with your thermostat sensor.

A faulty air conditioner with this problem requires the expertise of a technician. This job will involve adjusting the thermostat back in place if it was knocked. They may also check the thermostat status on the controller itself. It’s also important to check if your thermostat is set to “cool” to solve this problem. Read your manual to learn how to do it yourself. Alternatively, you can lower the temperature on your controller to see if your air conditioning unit starts to blow cooler air.

7. Blown fuse

A blown fuse is one of the most common air conditioner problems. This occurs because an incomplete circuit will not allow your air conditioning unit to start. This can also cause serious damage to your air conditioner if you don’t address the problem right away. 

The best way to solve this issue is to hire a professional to check the fuse and replace it with a new one. You should never attempt to replace a blown fuse by yourself. Improper installation could result in more problems that might damage the entire electrical system of your home. If that’s done and the air conditioner is still not working, a professional can also check the power source for any other issues to avoid further damage to your unit. A blown fuse should not be taken lightly, as it can be a hazard not only to your air conditioner but your entire unit as well.

8. Worn-out compressor

Like your electrical controls, your compressor and fan controls can also experience wear and tear over time and especially if your air conditioning unit is constantly being switched on and off. The air conditioning unit’s compressor helps increase the temperature pressure of your refrigerant. You may also have a broken capacitor, which may cause the compressor to stop working completely, resulting in a faulty air conditioner. In some instances, this problem may also be caused by an issue with your thermostat or a frozen coil.

Replacing a compressor can be quite expensive. So, if your technician advises for a replacement, and you’ve had the air conditioning unit for many years, it might be time to have the entire air conditioner replaced instead of spending on just a compressor. But if it’s caused by other issues, you can just have the unit fixed.

Image representing an aircon motor
Air Conditioner Motor

9. Water leak

Water leakage is one of the most common air conditioner problems you will encounter. It’s usually caused by a broken drain pan that results in water leaking through your air conditioning unit’s cracks and holes. If this happens, you’ll need the services of a technician who knows how to fix the air conditioner in the house to make sure that your drain pan can be replaced properly. It also helps to have your air conditioning unit cleaned regularly. This helps to keep excess dirt from going into your drain pan. Excessive dirt can cause the pan to overflow and leak everywhere.

10. Animal infestation

You might not think that this is possible, but your air conditioning ducts are the perfect material for making a rat’s nest. They will slowly take away your ducting to turn into their nests, causing problems with air circulation in your air conditioning unit. Animal infestation can also cause some serious damage to your unit because rats and mice can chew on your electrical wires and refrigerant lines. You are even putting yourself at risk for health hazards if you don’t address infestations right away. Your air conditioning unit might start releasing air contaminated with urine, fur, and faeces that can cause a wide range of medical conditions.

This problem also extends to cockroaches, geckos, snakes, and possums in Aussie households. If you notice animals in your air conditioning unit, get in touch with professionals right away. It is important to address the issue early as rodents and other small animals can cause extensive damage.

The bottomline

As air conditioning units have become a quintessential part of most Australian homes it is crucial to understand how to maintain your units and how to spot issues! After all, you don’t want to be stuck in a heat wave or a freezing winter morning without a working air conditioner to heat and cool your home! A faulty air conditioner should never be taken lightly because it can affect the way you enjoy your home. If you experience any of these issues please reach out to experts such as out team at Ambience Air. With nearly two decades of experience and countless air conditioner services and installations, we will be sure to look after your air conditioning needs!