Updating Your HVAC Unit

Air Conditioner Problems That Might Not Be Due To The AC Itself

When your air conditioning system stops working, your first instinct is probably to blame the air conditioner itself. And often, the air conditioner is to blame. The belt might be frayed or the motor might be burning out. But other times, the problem might not actually be due to the air conditioner. It might be due to another component of the system, like the vents, the ducts, or the thermostat. Here's a look at a few problems that are sometimes not directly attributed to your AC unit.

1. Low Airflow

If lots of cold air is coming through most vents, but a couple of vents have almost no airflow, the problem is probably not with the AC. Often, this is a problem with either the vent or the ducts. The vent control lever might be broken, causing the vent to stay closed even when you think you've opened it. You can tell whether this is an issue by looking at the vent's openings — is there metal obstructing them? 

Other times, there might be a blockage in the ducts. Maybe a child put something in there, or perhaps birds built a nest. Your HVAC contractor can send in a camera, find out exactly what is there, and remove it.

2. Short Cycling

Shorty cycling is when your air conditioner turns on, then off, then on again repeatedly, rather than running just a few times per hour. Sometimes this is, in fact, a problem with the air conditioner. But often, it is the result of an obstruction in the ducts. The obstruction makes pressure build up in the ducts, which puts strain on the AC motor, which causes it to turn off again soon after it has turned on. As discussed above, removing obstructions is not too tough for your HVAC technician.

3. Constant Running

Sometimes you might have the opposite issue from short-cycling. The AC turns on, and it won't turn off again. Often, this is due to an issue with the thermostat. Its wiring may be coming loose, keeping it from communicating properly with the air conditioner. It's also possible that the thermostat is stuck in "run" mode. In this mode, the fan keeps blowing whether or not the AC is actually cooling. (Check to make sure your thermostat did not get bumped onto this setting before you assume that anything is wrong.)

Sometimes air conditioning problems are not the fault of your air conditioner itself! Think outside the box when these situations arise. If there is a problem with your AC unit or other features, consider calling a residential AC repair contractor such as Nova Air Conditioning & Heating to help identify and fix the problem.