Don’t Lose Your Cool! – The Top 5 things That Go Wrong With Your Air Con
It can be an absolute nightmare when your air conditioning equipment breaks down for you at just the wrong moment. The difficulty is that air conditioning machinery is one of those things that you may not have at the front of your mind. There can be a tendency to forget all about it until the time you really need it and that is the worst time to discover that there is a problem suddenly.
We caught up with Hank Dodds from Aircon Spare Parts to find out what were the key things to look out for and what can get in the way of you managing those summer temperatures.
Hank told us; “If you’re asking about the stuff, we regularly see my top list would have to include no servicing, refrigerant leaks, bust controls and electrical or thermostat issues.”
Let us take a closer look at some of those he mentioned. Knowledge of some of the problems that can be encountered can help mitigate against them occurring in the first place.
- Poor servicing or lack of maintenance
The fact that air conditioning, and in fact HVAC equipment in general, has become so robust and well understood can be a hidden problem as it gets taken for granted. The machinery works so well that there is an assumption this will always be the case. It can be easy to forget that just like any other piece of machinery regular maintenance is needed to avoid problems in the first place and catch the normal wear and tear associated with operation. Regular care is required to keep it in tip top shape. For external fittings this includes simple inspection by eye which can catch things like mould or plant growth blocking or cracking any ductwork. This is so important that it is the subject of government legislation such as this site on Air Conditioning Inspections by the UK Government.
- Refrigerant leaks
This can result from either physical damage, for example a coil being knocked by something or plants pushing pipes apart, or from age weakened materials. In addition to meaning the equipment can no longer cool as efficiently or potentially at all this can constitute a hazard depending on the type of refrigerant in use.
- Broken controls
A surprising number of call outs for air conditioning equipment. Depending on the degree of use the system gets, how many cycles it is on and off, the fan and compressor controls can wear out.
Another almost related one is the thermostat, there can be times when the air con itself is actually fine, but the problem is an old, stuck or inoperative thermostat.
- Electrical problems
Again, not directly related to the machinery itself. When air conditioners switch on and off, they put a large, sudden surge of load onto the electrical circuit supplying them. This current surge has the potential to trip fuses and circuit breakers installed as safety measures. Depending on the size of the installation, whether domestic or commercial, replacing or resetting these can vary from the type of task many householders are comfortable with carrying out on their own to something that requires the intervention of a specialist technician to safely and effectively carry out.