Common A/C Problems

problems with a/c systems

When summer reaches its peak in Pennsylvania, the last problem any homeowner wants to deal with is a faulty air conditioning system.

Air conditioning is a complex set of machinery and wiring that can fall victim to a host of issues. When something goes wrong with your A/C, Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning can put its esteemed cast of technicians to the task — we’re experienced with diagnosing and adequately fixing any problems that surface.

What’s Wrong With Your Air Conditioner?

By tracking the symptoms of your system’s dysfunction, our team can discover and rectify any issue. Some common A/C problems include:

  • Dirty or Clogged Filter: If your system isn’t producing the temperature you’re looking for, you may need to clean or replace your filter. Dirty filters can not only restrict air flow, but they can also result in internal freezing. Manufacturer guidelines will help determine how often you should change the filter and what kind you should use. This is also important for air quality, as they rid the air of contaminants.
  • Refrigerant Leaks: If the air temperature begins to fluctuate or even run flat-out warm, it’s a likely a sign that you need to have your air conditioner’s refrigerant supply checked. Leaks in the system are often the culprit behind this issue, which a certified technician can locate and resolve. Be sure to remedy this problem quickly, as refrigerant leaks can be harmful to the environment and drastically reduce your system’s efficiency.
  • Compressor Issues: Problems with refrigerant can directly affect your air conditioner’s compressor, which serves as the heart of the entire unit’s exchange system. A lack of the chemical can force the compressor to overwork itself, resulting in seizing and potential ruin. On the other hand, overcharging the refrigerant can overload the compressor’s capacity, which can also cause failure.
  • Malfunctioning Outside Fan: The exterior fan expels your home’s interior heat to the outside. If it malfunctions, you won’t receive proper heat transfer. Not only will you feel a difference in temperature, but it can force the compressor to overheat. Not only will this likely cause a system shutdown, but it can cause irreparable damage to the compressor’s internal mechanisms.
  • Improper Drainage: Check the system’s drainage pan frequently to ensure it’s not clogged with dirt or pet hair. Inadequate drainage can cause water overflow, which damages the A/C unit and potentially the surrounding area.
  • Capacitor Problems: While motors run the compressor and fans, they won’t start without the proper signals from capacitors. Issues can arise in the start capacitor, which activates the motors, or the run capacitor, which provides a series of jolts to keep the unit running. Faulty capacitors not only affect the compressor and fans, but they can also cause your system to trip its breaker continually.
  • A Faulty Thermostat: Thermostats control the whole system, as they signal it when to turn on and off to maintain a specific temperature. Malfunctioning thermostats can cause inconsistencies, which means your space will likely be colder or warmer than you’d like it to be. Their sensors are often the first part a technician will check for issues. You might also need to recalibrate them.
  • Electrical Failure: Just like a car or other pieces of machinery, air conditioners can suffer from corroded wires and terminals over time. During a system diagnosis or maintenance appointment, a professional technician will check for this issue, as bad wiring can cause multiple parts of the system to fail or perform erratically.
  • Uneven Temperatures: Have you noticed your bedroom is perfectly cool, but your living room is noticeably warmer? If so, you might need to rebalance your air conditioner’s ventilation system. Adjusting the dampers on different access points can redistribute the cold air throughout various parts of the home.
  • Foul Smell: Nobody wants to turn on their air conditioner looking for relief from the heat and instead experience unpleasant odors. The kind of smell will likely determine what the cause is. If you’re picking up hints of mildew or dirty socks, it’s probably a signal that stagnant water has backed up in the unit due to a problem with the drainage. If you’re smelling dead animal, it’s possible that a small bird or rodent might have found its way into the duct work. One smell you should always be on the lookout for is that of gunpowder or burning metal. This scent can signal an overheated compressor or fan, or shorted-out wires and other electronics. Its rare but possible that an overworked mechanisms can catch fire, so it’s essential to address these smells immediately and continue to have annual maintenance on all of your homes mechanical systems.

Stay Cool With Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Don’t let these common A/C problems be the downfall of your summer. At Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer transparent customer service and up-front pricing, so you’ll always be receiving the best solution to your a/c needs.

We service homes and businesses throughout central Pennsylvania — including the greater Harrisburg area — and we’ve been doing so with critical acclaim for nearly 40 years. We have been voted Harrisburg Magazine’s Simply Best since 2005, so you can count on us to provide you with the best fix for almost any situation.

Contact us today to see what we can do for you.