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Every spring, it’s your hope that you turn on your air conditioner and it immediately begins to blow cool air. And of course, you expect that to remain the case until you shut down your system during the fall season. While you may be fortunate enough for this to happen, things can and probably will go wrong with your system at some point. Do you understand what could go wrong with your AC system? Are you familiar with the most common causes of problems?

Here are five common reasons for a malfunctioning air conditioner:

1. Low Refrigerant
Without this, your air conditioner can’t efficiently and effectively do its job. Your system needs refrigerant to remove the heat and humidity from the air inside your home. There are many potential causes of low refrigerant, with the most common a leak in the refrigerant lines. Even a small leak can prevent your system from cooling your home.

2. Dirty Air Filter
Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that they only have to replace their air filters during the winter months. This is due in large part to the fact that the filter is located in the furnace. However, even when you’re cooling your home, the air passes through the HVAC filter before reaching your home’s ductwork. At a minimum, change your air filter every three months.

3. Leaking Ducts
You assume that the ductwork running through your walls and ceilings is sealed tightly and designed to efficiently carry cool air to each room. But there’s a problem: this doesn’t always hold true.
From improper installation to breaks that develop over time, leaking ducts can come into play when you least expect it. With leaks, cool air is lost into wall cavities, meaning your AC system has to work harder to cool your home. This has the potential to cost you hundreds of dollars or more throughout one cooling season.

4. Clogged Drains
Your air conditioner is designed to remove moisture from the air and efficiently dispose of it. As moisture is removed, it’s taken from a drain line to a pan. From there, it makes its way into a drain on the floor. A clogged drain and/or line can cause water to back up, thus damaging your system. Not to mention the fact that this can also damage the interior of your home.

5. Malfunctioning Thermostat
Your thermostat is the central command station of your air conditioning system. Without this, your system won’t function. This is where your troubleshooting should begin. Answer questions such as:

When was the last time your thermostat was calibrated?

  • Do you need to replace the batteries?
  • Is your thermostat on cool mode?
  • Is there a programming issue?
  • Was your smart thermostat installed incorrectly?

Closely read through your thermostat’s owner’s manual for troubleshooting assistance. If you’re faced with one or more of the problems above, don’t wait to tackle them. You can do so on your own or by scheduling an AC tune-up service in the Boston area. Either way, the end goal is the same: a system that cools your home all summer long.

DIY Air Conditioning

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