As an electrical appliance, any problems or malfunctions with an air conditioning unit should be serviced and repaired by a qualified electrician.
However, here are common issues with air conditioning units which can be simple enough for a do-it-yourself fix.
Check out these common problems and simple air conditioning repair solutions.
NB Air conditioning units are connected to the mains meaning that even when switched off, there can be 240 volts waiting to surge through the system. Before attempting to diagnose the problem and before any air conditioning equipment repair, always disconnect from the mains or turn the main power off. If in any doubt, call a qualified electrician with experience in installing and repairing air conditioning units.
#1 Air Conditioning Unit Won’t Turn On
Most air conditioners will function even when ‘off’ as they will continue to ‘tick over’. Thus, when an air conditioning unit won’t turn on, you know that there is a problem.
However, the solution can be simpler than you think:
- Check that the unit is switched on – it could be entirely possible that he unit has been accidentally switched off.
- Check any fuses – air conditioning units may not have a plug that can be switched on and off as such, as some units are connected via a no-switch electrical socket, like an electric oven. There is a fuse in this plug that prevents a surge of power damaging the unit. If the unit is showing it is off and there is no power to it, check the fuse. Switch off the mains power and replace the fuse with the same fuse type and size. The air conditioning unit may come back on.
- Check the circuit breaker – if replacing the fuse does not result in the air conditioning coming back on, check the circuit breaker at the fuse box itself. If it has tripped causing the unit to cut out, flicking it back may result in the unit working or the fuse at the main junction box may need replacing. If fuses are continually tripping, it is indicative of a bigger electrical problem: get it checked by an electrician.
- Alter the temperature setting – it may be that the air conditioning unit is not working because it doesn’t need to. That is, the temperature in the room or the property is at the temperature you have asked the thermostat to maintain. Lowering the thermostat temperature by 5 to 10° will tell the air conditioning unit it needs to kick into action. If it does, you know the system is working but if not, it needs to be repaired or serviced.
#2 Air Conditioning Unit is Not Cooling Air
If the air conditioning unit is on and you have checked that the thermostat is set correctly but the system is not cooling air, the indication is that the air condenser is blocked or dirty.
STEP 1 – Check the outside unit
If you can safely do so, check the outside unit removing any blockages such as weeds or plants from the unit. Weeds, items leaning against etc. will prevent the unit being able to ‘suck in’ air into the main unit for filtering and cooling.
STEP 2 – Check filters
Once you have checked the outside unit, you need to check the filter inside of the air conditioning unit. Again, take care as you need to be sure there is no electrical surge in the system that could cause electrocution.
Filters become dirty over time as they purify the air. A dirty filter blocks air for reaching the evaporator coil which in turn, freezes.
To check that the filter is not clogged. Remove it, hold it up to the light – you should be able to see through it. If you cannot, it needs changing.
If, after performing these two air con repair steps, the air conditioning system will need to be repaired by a professional. It may be that an air conditioning pump repair will need to be performed, something that should only be carried out by a qualified professional.
#3 The Air Conditioning Unit is Not Adequately Cooling Your Home
It may be that a fully functioning air conditioning unit that is switched on with the thermostat set correctly that when you need it most, your home is not cooled enough.
More often than not, an air conditioning unit is not so much in need of repair when it is not cooling your home enough – it is that it is not big enough to perform the task in hand. An average system should be able to maintain a 20 to 25° temperature difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature.
If on a normal day, your air conditioning unit is not able to maintain the desired difference, then you have an issue that requires a qualified technician. If you see ‘ice’ on the outside unit, you must switch off the air conditioner immediately and call a qualified technician.
Avoid Air Condition Repair Bills with Adequate Maintenance
It is important to note that most air conditioning repairs can be avoided with regular maintenance and servicing of your system.
Just like the boiler on your heating system, with regular maintenance, small problems can be spotted early. Smaller problems are much cheaper to fix than large air conditioner repair.
Regularly changing filters, along with checking the outside unit call help to keep your air conditioning system in great shape, as well as safe to use.
Don’t forget that any mechanical air conditioning system will need to meet the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines on maintenance;
“Mechanical ventilation systems (including air-conditioning systems) should be regularly and adequately cleaned. They should also be properly tested and maintained to ensure they are kept clean and free from anything which may contaminate the air.”
If in any doubt as to what air con repairs are needed, always consult with a qualified electrician and air condition unit expert.