It’s a bad time for your air conditioning system to go down. During summer in Wichita, there’s really no good time. It doesn’t necessarily mean major downtime or a repair-or-replace scenario. Except for a few simple steps, though, only a trained HVAC contractor can safely diagnose common problems that take an air conditioning system out of action. This is no place for a do-it-yourself approach. However, knowing what you might be facing at least removes some of the X-factors. Here are a few common causes of air conditioning breakdowns:
An air conditioner that abruptly stops and won’t restart may have overheated and tripped a circuit breaker. Let it cool down for about 15 minutes, then look for a tripped circuit breaker and reset it. If the unit restarts, let your HVAC contractor know you’ve got an overload problem and schedule a service call.
A low-refrigerant sensor switch will automatically shut down a system to prevent damage. Inadequate refrigerant can also cause the evaporator coil to ice up, blocking air flow and shutting down the system. In addition, the compressor may overheat from lack of refrigerant lubricant and turn off. If your refrigerant is low, there’s a leak somewhere. Call an HVAC technician to trace the leak.
A component called a “run capacitor” located in the outdoor condenser unit provides an electrical boost to start the compressor when the thermostat signals it. An aging, weak run capacitor is a frequent cause of a non-start condition. Because of the high voltages involved, you definitely want an HVAC professional to handle it.
To prevent damaging overflows, many A/C condensate drip pans incorporate a safety switch to shut down the unit if the drain clogs and the pan fills up. The A/C will not restart until an HVAC technician unclogs the drain line and resets the switch.
For Wichita-area homeowners, Comfort Systems is the trusted local source of HVAC sales and service expertise. Call us now for quick diagnosis of any air conditioning issues.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioning and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.