Common Air Conditioner Issues That Spring to Mind This Time of Year

Three things happen when spring rolls into Phoenix. Baseball shifts gears from Cactus League practice games to the Diamondbacks’ regular season. The valley explodes with color from budding trees and flora of all types. And homeowners crank up their air conditioners for the first time. After sitting idle for many months, it’s not uncommon for your air conditioner to experience some issues.

Your Trusty Air Conditioner

For the most part, air conditioners are tremendously hardworking, complex appliances that operate under intense weather conditions including extreme heat, powerful dust storms, high winds and driving rain from monsoons. These desert conditions can cause accelerated wear and tear on your HVAC system. Depending on the number of years your air conditioner has been operating, you may be experiencing problems that require immediate service. Here are some of the most common problems we see every spring:

  • Failed Capacitors – Electrical issues are responsible for 80 percent of all AC repairs, and failed capacitors are one of the most common problems we find in Phoenix area HVAC systems. Mostly due to normal wear and tear, capacitors can also be damaged by electrical power surges or fluctuations in power from thunderstorms. Often, a visual inspection will reveal a clearly burned out capacitor, though sometimes capacitors appear normal but are not functioning properly. Electrical issues are best left to trained professionals. Our friendly service technicians will test your air conditioner for any and all electrical problems which may be affecting your system.
  • Low Refrigerant – Your air conditioners refrigerant lines comprise a completely sealed and closed system, which means in a perfect world, the amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner should never be less than full. Unfortunately, over time, leaks can and do develop, generally in the coils or fittings. Other than a hissing sound, which may or may not be audible, there is really no way to spot a leak without special equipment. We often detect low refrigerant during our spring tune-ups as air conditioners have had ample time for gas to slowly escape through tiny pin prick holes over the winter months.
  • Burned Out Fans or Blowers – Fans and blowers, after sitting motionless for months, may have a problem firing up in spring. Depending on the age of your air conditioner and again, due to normal wear and tear, fan and blower motors will simply stop working. Occasionally, with some coaxing and lubrication, they can start working again, but often, these are parts that need to be replaced at some point in their useful working life.
  • Water Leaks from Plugged Drains – The condensation drain line can get plugged up for a variety of reasons. You may notice a slight trickle of water around or beneath the drain pan under the evaporator. Common causes include mold or algae in the pipes or plain old gunk build up. Homeowners often think it’s normal for some water to run off their AC system. However, a plugged condensation drain line can cause other, more serious issues.

Another Common Problem – Forgetting to Schedule Service

One thing we all are guilty of from time to time is forgetting to call for service. It’s easy to overlook your air conditioner. For most homeowners, it’s out of sight – out of mind. However, with air conditioners being as complex as they are, often small problems can turn into bigger problems which can lead to unwanted breakdowns in the middle of summer. A spring tune-up will ensure a cool, comfortable summer.