A Collection of the 5 Most Common A/C Issues in Northwest Florida, and what you can do about them.
Summer is officially here in Northwest Florida! Even though most people run their A/C Systems most of the year in our area, it’s always a shock when your home becomes uncomfortable from a malfunctioning A/C unit. We get so many calls from people whose A/C Systems stop working for seemingly no reason! We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 reasons your A/C might fail, and what you can look out for and do to prevent such issues. Often, having a maintenance plan in place can prevent these issues! Learn more about our maintenance plans (Proactive Performance Plans) here: https://gulfshoreair.com/proactive-performance-plans/
We have listed below the five most common reasons our HVAC technicians are called out, and what your best options might be for an effective repair.
1. Capacitors and Contactors:
Some of the more “typical” repairs we see at Gulfshore Air Conditioning are bad capacitors and bad contactors. A great deal of electricity flows through these components, creating the potential for both to get extremely hot. When the temperature outside rises, these components generate even more heat and as a result, quite often fail, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the brand or the size of the unit is. The good news is, both capacitors and contactors aren’t usually very expensive to fix. It is worth the investment to repair.
2. Fan Motor:
Another common failure we see is in the condensing fan motor. This is the fan located in the air conditioner. It endures extremes in temperature throughout the year since it is exposed to the outside elements. Despite the elements, the industry has come a long way to develop systems and components that can stand the test of time. Fan motors are also an investment worth replacing.
A third common issue we see is compressor failure. The compressor is like the engine in your car, and it can be very expensive to replace. This is why, at Gulfshore Air, we recommend you weigh the options of unit replacement prior to investing in a new compressor. Read about repair versus replacement here: https://gulfshoreair.com/deciding-whether-to-repair-or-replace-your-hvac-units-in-northwest-florida/
As a general rule, if the unit is more than six years old, if the part isn’t covered under warranty or if the unit is using the old style R-22 refrigerant, it is wise to go ahead to purchase a new unit instead of putting money into the old unit. Learn more about our high-efficiency units here: https://gulfshoreair.com/trusted-products/ac-units-heat-pumps/
Air conditioning systems low on refrigerant is another common repair. A unit should not require, nor is it legal, to refill refrigerant year after year. If your air conditioner requires refrigerant every year, you most likely have a leaky refrigerant circuit, and you must get it repaired or replace the system. The refrigerant circuit consists of the air conditioner, the copper refrigeration line set and the evaporator coil. The leak could reside in one or all of the components, but the smaller the leak the more difficult it is to find. High-pressure nitrogen tests and dyes are common methods of locating a refrigerant leak, however, there is no guarantee that it will be found or possible to repair.
Dirty equipment can also cause issues with your system. Dust and other airborne particles often accumulate in the condensing coil of the air conditioner resulting in reduced efficiency and capacity. In severe cases, the unit may even ice up due to a dirty condensing coil. This means ice will form around the copper lines either inside or outside. Since the air conditioner pulls air in through the condensing coil it is much more effective to clean it from the inside out. To do this you must remove either the top or a side panel. We suggest homeowners do not attempt this as both breakers to your air conditioner and furnace must be off. Please call a certified HVAC professional such as Gulfshore Air to make the repair.
- Having a maintenance plan in place, such as our Proactive Performance Plan, will also help avoid this common issue. Our maintenance plans include yearly visits where we clean, test and maintain your system for optimum efficiency and home comfort. Learn more here: https://gulfshoreair.com/proactive-performance-plans/
Keep in mind, all of the failures and repairs listed should be addressed by a professional HVAC technician. Because you are dealing with high voltage electricity and refrigerant, it is not recommended homeowners attempt these repairs for their own safety. Refrigerant handlers must also be EPA certified.
What you can do:
One of the biggest reasons people experience air conditioner problems is due to a dirty air filter. This is very common and easily prevented. A dirty filter restricts the amount of air that flows through the evaporator coil. When this occurs the coil gets too cold and the system will freeze up. Changing your filter monthly is the best line of defense. We currently have special promotions going on for the Reme Halo Air Purification System! Learn more here.
Keep in mind, the most expensive filter is not always the right answer. If your duct system isn’t designed for a high-efficient filter, more likely than not, you should opt for the least expensive filter.
For more information about heating and air conditioning repairs, or if you are having problems with your home’s HVAC system, give us a call or email us at [email protected].