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Air conditioners have the ability to change the temperature, humidity and quality of air in your home.
In their simplest form, air conditioning systems include: refrigerant, fans, evaporator coils, a compressor, a condenser coil, an expansion valve, ducts and tubing.
The process is complex, but essentially, air conditioners cool a home – or individual rooms – by drawing heat energy out of each room, replacing warm air with cooler air. Fans are used to circulate warm, interior air over evaporator coils filled with a chemical substance called refrigerant. When warm air contacts those coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat. After heat is removed from the air, the captured heat is released outside, and cooler air is returned into the house.
During this process, humidity is also removed from the air, and filters remove contaminants from the air.
"Why is my air conditioner freezing up?"
Air conditioners can freeze up for a variety of reasons including low refrigerant levels, poor airflow, dirty coils, faulty thermostats, or a mechanical failure in the system.
Start by checking your thermostat to make sure there are no obvious issues. Also, be sure you're not running your AC in cold weather, which can cause freezing.
Next, check air filters, and replace any that have become dirty or clogged. Also, inspect vents and ducts for obvious blockages. Poor airflow can cause the evaporator coil to freeze.
If the problem remains, it’s probably a refrigerant or mechanical problem, in which case it's time to call a local HVAC professional.
Regular maintenance will help reduce the likelihood of the system freezing up!
"My air conditioner is leaking water, is that a problem?"
Condensation is a normal byproduct of an air conditioner, but if certain components malfunction, the system may begin to leak. Since water can damage an air conditioning system – not to mention other parts of your home – it’s important to resolve the issue quickly.
First, turn off the system to avoid more leakage. Next, check and replace the air filters. Also, inspect vents and ducts for any blockages.
If you can’t find an obvious issue, you will likely need an HVAC professional to take a closer look at the system, and fix any problems.
Regular maintenance of the system will help reduce the chance of leaking issues.
"What should I do if my air conditioner is blowing hot air?"
First, check your thermostat to be sure it's not set to "heat." Also check that it's set to "auto" rather than "on" … in the "on" position, the system will blow warm air if the surrounding air temperature is moderate to warm.
Next, make sure that the air flow is good: inspect the system's air filters and replace any that have become too dirty.
If you have a split system (indoor and outdoor units), check to make sure that the outside unit is still running. If it's not running, check your circuit breakers to ensure that the outside unit is receiving electricity. It's possible for the system to blow air even if the outside unit isn't functioning.
If your AC continues to blow warm air, it is likely due to a broken part, or refrigerant leak, both of which require a qualified HVAC professional for inspection and repair.
"Who should I call to fix my air conditioner?"
If you are not able to identify and fix an issue on your own, calling a local HVAC specialist or qualified HVAC service company is the best way to ensure your air conditioner is properly serviced and repaired.