Those of you who live in Santa Rosa already understand how important it is that your air conditioner is kept up and running during the year’s hottest months. A sunny day is always more enjoyable when you can enjoy it from behind a pane of glass in your cool, temperature-controlled living room. That being said, you’ll want to make sure you know the signs of a problem with your air conditioner as soon as they arise. Being aware of what to look for can help you deal with these issues before they threaten to cause significant damage to your system, which can make you sweat financially as well as literally.
Of course, your air conditioner is a complicated piece of machinery and may be subject to a full range of issues that require maintenance or professional service at some point in its lifetime. For you to keep your air conditioner running as long as possible while incurring the fewest expenses though, it’s important to prioritize. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of the four air conditioning problems you should be most watchful for in the Santa Rosa area, with detailed descriptions of each and an explanation of their potential costs. Read on, and arm yourself against the possibility of air conditioner trouble this summer.
Of all the things that are likely to go wrong with your air conditioner, perhaps the most significant is a refrigerant leak. Your air conditioner isn’t supposed to leak refrigerant. Instead, the coolant in your system is supposed to cycle through it and be repeatedly used. It’s not like gasoline, which is depleted over time because it gets converted to energy. Refrigerant produces energy by pulling energy out of the air around it, not by being converted into energy itself.
Therefore, if your system is low on refrigerant it almost certainly indicates a leak of some kind. Leaking refrigerant has the potential to cause much larger problems in your air conditioner if left untreated, so the moment you feel like your refrigerant is low you should call a professional to find the reason why.
How can you tell if your system is low on refrigerant? The air coming from your vents may start to feel warmer than it should. This may result in your house taking longer than usual to cool while the system is running. In more advanced cases, a leak may be signified by the presence of water forming puddles by your furnace or ice build-up on your indoor coil. Since these symptoms can cause problems of their own, it’s best to call a professional immediately if you notice them.
Ice on the Evaporator Coil
That brings us to the next big problem on our list. If your evaporator coil is starting to freeze, you’ll want to take care of it immediately. Your coil can’t function properly unless warm air is surrounding it because your refrigerant needs to draw heat energy from the air to achieve a cooling effect in your home. A frozen evaporator coil can, therefore, prevent your entire cooling system from functioning, rendering your AC useless when you need it most.
The costs of replacing an evaporator coil can be quite high as well—up to $1200. Since the cost of fixing a small refrigerant leak is likely to be much less, it’s often best to solve that problem before it creates an issue with your evaporator coil.
For your air conditioner to work properly, it has to be efficient at circulating air throughout your home. Many air conditioning failures are caused by nothing more than a failure to move air around adequately, which can be attributed to one of several factors.
The most common cause of poor circulation in your unit is a dirty filter, and fortunately, this problem is easy to fix by yourself. You can purchase new filters at most hardware or home improvement stores, and replace your old ones with them every month or so. This will ensure that your unit does not become clogged up and that the air flowing through it is always clean.
You can also clean up the area around your outdoor unit to make sure that nothing is preventing air from entering your system. Look for leaves, twigs, nests and other obstructions in a two-foot radius of your outdoor unit and move them as soon as possible. Poor airflow can also be caused by a faulty fan, which typically requires a qualified HVAC tech to fix.
Problems with Ductwork
Finally, watch out for leaks in the ducts that move air throughout your home. To check your ducts, examine the seams—and the materials used to connect them. Many problems with ductwork occur during installation, especially if your installer used tape or another temporary material to connect them. Make sure your ducts are connected securely so that the air in your system can flow through them properly.
Pay attention to the issues listed above, and you’ll go a long way to making sure your air conditioner in Santa Rosa remains functional when it’s needed. Good luck, and stay cool this summer! Contact us for more information.