5 Common Causes of Air Conditioning Repairs in Denver 2016

5 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems For Denver Homeowners

The summer time is no time for a home's air conditioning unit to stop working. It may happen and when it does, it will be important for a certified air conditioning technician to identify the problem and fix it. An air conditioning system can be complicated. A number of different things can go wrong with it. There are at least five common problems that may cause a person's air conditioning system to fail and require repairing

Refrigerant Leak Problems

When an air conditioning unit is low on refrigerant, there could be two main reasons for it. The unit may have been undercharged with refrigerant when it was installed. The other option is that the air conditioning unit leaks. A few years ago, a study was done to determine the true cause of refrigerant leaks in air conditioning units. It showed that leaks often occur in units up to 7 years old. The leaks often occur in the unit's copper tubing wall. The study determined that some newer air conditioning units were able to be more energy efficient. This was often achieved by using thinner copper in the evaporator coils. Heat will move quicker through thinner copper. This type of efficiency in the tubing can also be a cause of leaks. It is also common to find low levels of formaldehyde as a pollutant in most homes. This formaldehyde can change into something on the a/c coil known as Formic acid. This is very mild, but during a period of several years, it could create pinholes in an air conditioning unit's copper tubing. This is known as formicary corrosion

Electrical Problems

Some of the most common air conditioning problems involve the unit's electronics. It's possible for an air conditioning unit to have a failing capacitor. This is a small cylindrical electronic component. It sends electricity to the unit's motors so they can run. A capacitor will begin to show signs of wear when too much voltage is affecting the unit. The capacitors will need to be replaced. This is evident by a clicking sound coming from the unit's cabinet. Circuit breakers frequently tripping is another problem. If home's circuit breakers trip when an air conditioning unit turns on, the system needs too much power. There could be a problem with the wiring within the unit's motors. Relays are components that transmit power to a unit's motors. When a relay is stuck in the open position, there is a problem. This could keep the motor from turning on. If the relay is stuck in the shut position, the motor will not turn off.

Sensor Problems

Homes with room air conditioners have a thermostat sensor. This is usually located behind the unit's control panel. It will measure the temperature of air coming into the unit's evaporator coils. As air goes past the unit's sensor, its temperature is identified. The sensor then contrasts this to the thermostat's desired temperature. If the temperature needs to be warmer or cooler, the sensor will activate the unit's compressor. This will make it cool until a home's temperature matches the temperature set on the unit's thermostat. Should the unit's sensor get out of position, the unit could constantly cycle. In other cases, it will begin to operate erratically. The sensor needs to be located near the coils but not touching them. When the sensor touches the coils, an air conditioning unit can begin to act erratically. This can be corrected by eliminating any unusual angles of a sensor toward or away from the unit's coils. If this is done, and the unit still does not work correctly, there may be other problems with the air conditioning unit. A trained technician will be able to further evaluate the unit and recommend any necessary repairs.

Inadequate Maintenance Problems

When the filters and coils in an air conditioning unit become dirty, the air conditioner will not operate properly. It is important for an air conditioning unit to have a clean filter installed every month. Some filter types can be cleaned, and others must be replaced. When filters are not regularly changed, the efficiency of an air conditioning unit is significantly compromised. This is especially important during the months a unit is used the most. It is essential to know the filter's minimum efficiency reporting value and only to use filters specifically designed for the unit. When this isn't done, it can permit dirt to be carried directly into the unit's evaporator coils and decrease its ability to absorb heat. As an air conditioner is utilized, it's evaporator coil and condenser coil will collect dirt. Even with regular changing of the air filter, these coils will retain dirt. Outdoor condenser coils will have significant levels of dirt from being in an outside environment. This is especially true if there are trees and plants nearby. An air conditioning unit's coils need to be checked and cleaned at least once a year or more depending on the unit's location.

Turning Off Problems

If an air conditioning unit goes off and on without warning, it could be the result of air flow within the unit being restricted. In some cases, a dirty air filter is the problem. In some units, this is a result of too much moisture being captured. This can cause the unit's water tank to fill up. There is often a light on the unit that indicates when its water tank is filled. A unit repeatedly turning off can happen on days that are extremely hot. The high temperatures can cause a problem with the air moving through the unit. In some cases, the problem could be a thermostat too close to windows or air vents. A thermostat in the wrong location can cause a unit to react to the wrong inside temperature. In some cases, a broken thermostat may be at fault.

If this is a constant problem after an air condition unit is installed, the system may be too large for the structure where it was installed. When this is done, it will decrease the amount of time to cool off an indoor environment but will increase energy bills, cause uneven cooling and other problems.

Causes of Air Conditioning Output Dropping in Denver, CO

4 Common Causes Dropping Air Conditioner Output

It is another hot and sweaty summer outside, and your air conditioner seems to be struggling. While you imagined the house should be cooler by now, the output of your air conditioner does not appear to be pumping in a regular flow of consistent, cool air. In fact, the output of your air conditioner is clearly less than adequate: causing your house to retain that stale, musty heat and humidity that makes it hard to breathe as the perspiration beads up across your forehead. But, what could possibly be causing your air conditioner to be experiencing a reduction in output? Chances are that your air conditioner is being hampered by one of the following issues.

Air Handler Problems

The air handler is the part of your air conditioner that is burdened with the task of properly circulating air throughout your home. When there is a problem with your air conditioner's air handler, this will definitely hinder its ability to circulate air as it was designed to do. Essentially, you can think of the air handler as a fan with a powerful motor. When the fan is operational, air becomes distributed and circulated as it should, and your home will stay at the proper temperature you desire it to maintain. Unfortunately, the motor component of the air handler depends on a series of oiled bearings. With use over time, these bearings can wear, and you will start to notice that your air conditioner is producing an annoying grinding sound when the fan is engaged.

If this problem goes untreated long enough, the resultant friction from general use will ultimately burn out the air handler's motor. In the meantime, before the motor burns out, you will notice that the output of your air conditioner will continue to drop as the situation gets worse. The solution that tends to be least expensive, which will restore your air conditioner to a state where it is operating properly again, is to replace the failing bearings before significant damage is done to the motor of the air handler. Alternatively, the air handler may experience an electrical problem, such as a short circuit. In this situation, power is lost and output will reduce because electricity is not able to power the motor.

Evaporator Coil Has Frozen Over with Ice

While you would think freezing cold ice would not be a huge problem in the heat of summer, the truth is that ice forming on an evaporator coil can create a major problem with the operation of your air conditioner. As the evaporator coil ices over, it becomes increasingly difficult for the heat to be removed out of your home's air. This common air conditioner problem results in a direct reduction in your air conditioner's output. Common causes of this problem arise from the air conditioner's air filter being clogged or an air handler that is not functioning properly. In the event that you notice ice forming on your air conditioner, this is a sign you need to have your system looked at by a professional as soon as possible.

Your Air Conditioner is Leaking Refrigerant

For your air conditioner to operate as it was intended, it is vitally important for the air conditioner to contain enough refrigerant fluid to prevent your air conditioner from experiencing a total breakdown in operations. The purpose of refrigerant fluid is that it plays a critical role in transporting absorbed heat from inside your home to outside your home. You might be tempted to imagine that your air conditioner consumes this fluid and that it should be replaced regularly. Instead, what your air conditioner actually does is it recycles this fluid for continued use. The only time your air conditioner should be losing refrigerant fluid is if there is a leak somewhere in the system. When your air conditioner leaks refrigerant fluid, this directly diminishes your air conditioner's ability to shuttle heat outside. As a result, your house will remain warmer, and the output of your air conditioner will become less efficient in the process.

When your air conditioner was originally installed, it was charged with a sufficient amount of refrigerant to last throughout its lifetime of operation: provided no refrigerant leaks occur; consequently, if you notice your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant fluid, it is not advisable to put off having it repaired.

A Malfunctioning Reversing valve

Inside your air conditioner's heat pump is a device called a reversing valve. When refrigerant fluid passes through the heat pump one way, it provides your system with the ability to cool your house. Passing refrigerant fluid through the heat pump in the opposite direction is how your air conditioner provides the ability for the system to heat your home. If the reversing valve inside your heat pump malfunctions or gets stuck, this will create output problems. The last thing you want in the middle of the summer months is for your air conditioner to be stuck heating your house, rather than cooling it off. A professional will be able to quickly determine if the reason your air conditioner is malfunctioning is because of an improperly operating reversing valve. It should be noted that an improperly functioning reversing valve may be difficult to diagnose in mild weather. A bleeding reversing valve will exhibit detectable changes in pressure, which a qualified air conditioner repair technician will be able to help you to detect and restore to proper functioning capacity in a short amount of time.

Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency with Sealed Ducts

Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency by Sealing Ducts

Anything less than a perfect installation job on your home air conditioning system duct could mean that you are losing output and wasting money. The most common way is through leaks in the duct work. But even with a perfectly installed system, normal use will eventually result in inefficient distribution from your forced air system. The only way to guarantee maximum efficiency of your forced air system is to ensure the integrity of your system’s duct work. The duct work in your home is extremely vulnerable to leaks. The air that escapes through those leaks translates to money wasted as homeowners lose up to 30 percent of their output to gaps in duct work, according to the United States Department of Energy.

Your forced air HVAC system is a cyclical network of trunk lines, duct fittings, supply runs, and boots which connect to each other in dozens of locations both hidden and visible. Air from the main unit is moved through a large trunk line into a series of supply runs which distribute air to each room in your home. Air is returned and vented through a similar network which reconditions the air and sends it back out again. Each spot where a trunk line attaches to a supply run, where the supply run attaches to the wall, floor, or ceiling, or at any similar fitting along the air return path is a potential location for air seepage. Depending on the size of your home, that could add up to dozens of opportunities for air to escape before ever reaching its target... you.

Signs You May Have Leaky Duct Work

There are number of things that you can look for which may signal the existence of inefficient air conditioning ducts in your home. First, you may notice higher than normal utility bills. If you can rule out other possible causes for this, like hotter than normal weather or extra lights and other electrical appliances being used in your home, a high electric bill might mean that your air conditioning is having to work harder and run longer. If it is working overtime, it is probably because up to one-third of the air it is cooling is not making it to the rooms in your home.

Maybe you have noticed that some rooms in your home are more difficult to cool or seem “stuffy” in comparison to others. This could signal a leaky duct in one specific supply run or at a connection to the wall, floor, or ceiling where the air is pumped into the room.

Perhaps some of your ducts are installed in areas which are not climate controlled such as attics, crawlspaces, or garages. When the air temperature surrounding these ducts is frequently changing, the ducts can expand and contract. Over time, this shifting and flexing can create gaps in fittings and boots.

The simplest way to identify leaks is by looking at areas you can easily reach. Sometimes you can actually see kinks or tangles in your duct work which are likely locations for cool air to escape.

Regardless of how you find these leaks or where they are located, sealing them is the best way to increase the overall efficiency of your forced air system.

Sealing Your Air Conditioning Duct Work

To prevent this needless waste of money and energy which could be occurring in your home, a licensed HVAC technician can seal the leaks in your system’s duct work leaving you cool and comfortable with more money in your pocket. The process is simple.

First, a mastic sealant is painted on at each connection point in the duct work throughout your home. Mastic is an epoxy, or glue, which dries to create a stiff and strong assembly while also remaining flexible enough to withstand the expansion and contraction which occurs with changes in air temperature.

To reinforce the sealant at a particularly vulnerable sight, regulation duct tape can be applied over the mastic once it has dried. It is important to use only regulation duct tape designed specifically for this purpose because regular duct tape is not strong enough to withstand the constant movement of the ducts. Regulation duct tape contains reinforced layers of metallic fiber which work alongside the mastic to create a tight but flexible seal.

Finally, insulation can be added around duct work which is regularly exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures like those in attics, crawlspaces, and garages.

Specific areas on which a technician should focus may include fittings and boots. Fittings are used to maneuver the trunk line and supply runs to avoid obstacles such as pipes or beams or to simply change direction to send the air to different rooms in the home. Fittings are also used anyplace the trunk line or supply run needs to change sizes as determined by the amount of air that needs to be moved. Boots are attached where a duct meets the HVAC unit, a wall, floor, ceiling, or flue.

Make sure that you are not one of the millions of Americans who are throwing money out the window due to leaks in your HVAC system. Have your ducts sealed as soon as possible and be the coolest house on your block.