Common A/C Problems and How to Prevent Them

The long Georgia cooling season takes a toll on your air conditioner each year, and it’s no surprise: Any given summer, your air conditioner spends about 3,600 hours working to keep you cool. If it happened to be a car driving just 35 miles per hour, your air conditioner would travel 126,000 miles! Imagine if you drove your car 126,000 miles, put it in the garage, and then pulled it back out in the spring and expected it to drive another 126.000 miles – without a tune-up. Not only would your gas mileage suffer dramatically, but you’d most likely experience a breakdown at some point, and Murphy’s Law says that it’ll happen on a dirt road somewhere in Iowa, just like the law says your air conditioner will break down during the hottest week of the year, along with everyone else’s. And unfortunately, we can’t offer you a replacement system while you’re waiting in line for a repair!

The fact is, your air conditioner needs yearly maintenance to maintain efficiency and prevent these common operating problems that typically stem from neglect:

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil in your air conditioner is located in the indoor unit, and its job is to absorb the heat in your home and remove the humidity from the air. A frozen coil won’t do either. Frozen coils usually result from inadequate airflow due to an obstruction in the return duct or a dirty air filter. It could also signal low refrigerant levels, which probably means you have a refrigerant leak.

During your spring tune-up, your technician will measure the airflow over the coil and address any problems that may be causing poor circulation. He’ll also measure the refrigerant level and inspect for leaks if it’s low, and then repair the leaks and top off your system to prevent a frozen coil and other problems resulting from low refrigerant.

Condensate Drain Clog

When the air in your home flows over the evaporator coil, humidity in the air condenses on the coil and the condensation drips into the condensate pan below. A plastic tube sends the water to an indoor drain or an outdoor location. If the pan’s drain or the drain hose is obstructed by debris, the water will overflow and shut down your system.

Although this isn’t a serious problem – yet – and it’s something you can fix yourself, it won’t be pleasant. But you can easily avoid all that with a tune-up, during which your technician will clean the pan and flush out the hose to ensure it’s free of debris from the get go. He’ll also remove any dust buildup from the coil, which acts like insulation and prevents the optimum absorption of heat and the condensation of humidity, which vastly decreases your comfort level while increasing your cooling bills.

Electric Control Failure

Uh, oh. This isn’t good! Over time, the fan and compressor controls can wear out, electrical connections may loosen due to constant vibration, and terminals or wires may corrode, all of which can result in electric control failure, and that’s an expensive fix.

Your tune-up includes the tightening of electrical connections, a thorough inspection of the wires and electrical terminals, and the application of a nonconductive coating. Your technician will also test the electric control of the system to ensure it cycles properly.

Schedule Your Tune-Up Today!

Early spring is the best time to have your system tuned up so that it’s ready to go when it’s time to turn it on. A comprehensive inspection and tune-up addresses the overall health and efficiency of your system to help prevent the three most common problems above and all of the other problems that often result from neglect.

Give us a call at Comfort Control, Inc. to schedule your tune-up, and hopefully that will be the last you’ll see of us until it’s time to tune up your heating system this fall!

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