AC Repairs You Might Not Know You Need

The long, hot summers in Peoria, AZ, and the surrounding areas mean you need an effective air conditioning system. With summertime high temperatures routinely exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, your air conditioner has a lot of work to do. After some time, parts may wear out, become loose, or fail. Learn about 10 surprising yet common air conditioner problems that require a repair soon.

1. Dirty Evaporator Coil

A dirty evaporator coil impedes the air conditioner’s ability to absorb heat from your home. This coil needs an annual cleaning, which is part of what our technicians at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical do for a Peoria AC tune-up each spring. Some signs of a dirty evaporator coil include vents blowing warm air, rapid AC cycling, and an increase in your home’s humidity. You shouldn’t try cleaning the evaporator coil yourself because it’s easy to damage.

2. Frozen Evaporator Coil

A frozen evaporator coil causes ice to build up. A refrigerant leak may also lead to a buildup of ice. Ice accumulation anywhere on your air conditioner is a sign of a problem that needs repairs. Between cooling cycles, the ice will melt. Over time, this could lead to additional water damage on your walls, ceiling, or floor. Allowing the ice to keep building up could cause the entire AC system to stop working. If you notice ice anywhere on your air conditioner, call for a prompt repair. Our technicians at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical will perform a thorough inspection at your Peoria area home in order to determine what is causing the coil to freeze.

3. Loose Parts

If your air conditioner isn’t mounted on a flat surface, it’ll vibrate a lot during each cooling cycle. All of the jerky movements may cause some parts to get loose. Skipping a few maintenance visits may also lead to screws, bolts, and belts getting loose. If a part works itself all the way off, your air conditioner won’t be able to safely operate. It might automatically shut itself down. If you hear any rattling sounds during cooling cycles, you’ll need a repair for the loose parts.

4. Cracked Drain Pan

The drain pan collects moisture that condenses out of your home’s air during each cooling cycle. The drain pan is usually in the indoor unit. It has a capacity of a few pints of water. If the drain pan cracks or develops rust, the water may leak onto the floor of your home. The water could also back up into the air conditioner’s air handler. If this happens, it could ruin the entire indoor unit. If you see a puddle of water around the indoor unit of your cooling system, a cracked or damaged drain pan could be the cause. This is a fast repair, and you shouldn’t put it off.

5. Wiring Damage

Air conditioners have wiring that connects the condenser and the motor to your home’s electrical system. The wiring goes to your circuit breaker, which will have one or two dedicated circuits for the air conditioner. Over time, insulation may fall apart. This could allow wires to touch each other or overheat. Wiring damage could also result from a control board or sensor problem, nearby lightning strike, power surge, or brown-out. If you smell a smoky, burning or chemical type of smell during or just after a cooling cycle, your AC may need wiring repairs.

6. Clogged Condensate Line

You might not have realized that your AC’s condensate line could need a repair. If the line cracks, the water leaving the drain pan could leak into your home. A clogged condensate line could cause water to back up into the drain pan and the air handling unit. This could trigger an automatic shutdown of the air conditioner. Algae and muck are some common causes of clogged condensate lines. If you see water dripping or pooling around the condensate line, you’ll need to call for repairs. If the pipe is cracked or separated, it may need to be replaced.

7. Capacitor Failure

The capacitor is an electrical part that delivers an extra load of electricity to the motor at the start of each cooling cycle. If your air conditioner is short-cycling, it could be due to a capacitor problem. Short-cycling may also be caused by a dirty air filter, evaporator coil, refrigerant leak, or another issue. The frequent cycling causes excessive wear and tear on the capacitor, leading to premature failure. If you hear the air conditioner click on, but its motor doesn’t fully start turning, this suggests a capacitor issue. The capacitor has high voltage, so only a certified air conditioning technician should handle this repair.

8. Damaged Motor

The air conditioner’s motor moves for the duration of every cooling cycle. Dirt buildup, loss of lubricant, debris, or a mechanical problem may cause damage to the motor. The motor may overheat if it loses lubricant or the system cycles too frequently. In many cases, a damaged motor will need to be replaced. If your air conditioner is 10 years old, you may be better off replacing the system. A new air conditioner motor costs about one-third to one-half the price of a new cooling system.

9. Refrigerant Leak

If it seems like your air conditioner is running more frequently or the air blowing from the vents feels warm, this could be due to a refrigerant leak. The tubing, fittings, and valves for the refrigerant may wear out over time, especially if the outdoor unit is exposed to direct sunlight. If there’s an active leak, you may hear hissing or see bubbles coming from the air conditioner. It may also form ice or a puddle of water. Only a certified air conditioning technician should measure the refrigerant level. Leaks must be repaired before the refrigerant is recharged. Topping off a refrigerant leak without fixing the problem could lead to more air conditioner performance issues.

10. Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter is one of the most common AC problems that homeowners in the Peoria area have. The air filter is an often-overlooked part of the cooling system, but it’s critical to the proper functioning of the unit. Skipping maintenance often results in a dirty air filter that hinders airflow, causes the rest of the air conditioner to get dirty, and leads to foul smells and poor indoor air quality. Once a month, check the filter. Replace it at least every three months, or sooner if it’s visibly dirty. Our NATE-certified technicians can show you where the filter is, tell you what size of filter you need or drop in at any time in order to change it for you.

At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we’re Peoria’s go-to source for air conditioning repairs. We also offer heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and replacements. Homeowners in the Peoria area turn to us for outdoor lighting, water heater, water softeners, wiring, breaker panel, electrical, and plumbing service, too. For more information, call us today.