Jun 11, 2024 / Air Conditioning

Air conditioning units are essential for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures, especially during scorching summers in Maryland. July is typically the warmest month, with temperatures averaging mid to upper 80s. However, like any mechanical system, AC units can encounter issues hindering performance. Identifying these problems early can prevent costly repairs and ensure your system operates efficiently. But, you may wonder how to diagnose AC problems.

At Apple Plumbing, Heating & Air, we recognize the value of identifying and diagnosing AC problems. Our team of experts offers plumbing and HVAC services in Westminster, and we are committed to enhancing the lives of homeowners and local businesses across Maryland. 

Although we are available to guide you every step of the way, it’s essential that you get familiar with some of the most common AC problems and solutions to ensure you can promptly take the following steps when necessary.

Lack of Cooling

During sweltering summer days, the last thing you want is for your AC unit to fail to cool your home adequately. Lack of cooling is one of the most common AC problems due to various factors. One primary culprit is often a dirty or clogged air filter. Over time, dust, debris, and other particles accumulate in the filter, obstructing airflow and reducing the system’s efficiency, creating problems with AC. 

To address this air condition problem, check the thermostat settings to ensure they are appropriate for your comfort needs. If the settings seem correct, examine the air filter for any signs of dirt or blockages. If the filter appears dirty, cleaning or replacing it to restore proper airflow is crucial. 

Inspect the outdoor unit for any obstructions, such as leaves or debris that may obstruct airflow. Clearing these obstructions can help improve the unit’s performance and restore cooling efficiency.

Sometimes, troubleshooting AC problems can be challenging if the unit is very old. In such cases, it may be best to replace the unit. Our team of specialized HVAC technicians can walk you through the benefits of a new HVAC system and help you determine if you need a new system or if the current one can be repaired.

Weak Airflow 

Weak airflow from your AC vents can make your home feel stuffy and uncomfortable, even when the system is running. This is one of the most common AC problems, and it often arises due to restrictions in the airflow pathway within the HVAC system. 

This may sometimes lead to more sneezing and coughing than usual, as the air quality may not be up to standard. The best way to identify this is by conducting an indoor air quality check with professional help. Here at Apple Plumbing, Heating, & Air, we can assist you in identifying causes of poor air quality, which could be happening due to several reasons, including dirty air Filters, inadequate ventilation, and faulty ductwork.

Similarly, dirt buildup on the evaporator coils or a malfunctioning blower fan can also contribute to AC unit problems. To diagnose weak airflow, start by inspecting the air filter for any accumulation of dust or debris. If the filter appears dirty, cleaning or replacing it is essential to restore proper airflow. 

You can also add air handlers to your home, which can work with your heating and cooling systems to control and regulate airflow.

Strange Noises

When your AC unit starts making strange noises, it’s a clear sign that something isn’t right within the system, indicating an air conditioning problem. These noises can range from rattling and buzzing to squealing or grinding sounds, each indicating a potential issue that requires attention. Identifying the type of noise and its source is crucial in diagnosing the problem accurately. 

Loose or damaged components within the AC unit can cause these noises.  Loose screws, bolts, or fan blades can produce rattling sounds, while a malfunctioning motor or worn-out bearings may result in buzzing or grinding noises. 

To address strange noises coming from your AC unit, start by pinpointing the source of the sound. Carefully listen to the unit while it’s running to determine the type and location of the noise. Once identified, inspect the affected components for any signs of damage or looseness. Tighten any loose screws or bolts and lubricate moving parts, such as fan bearings, if necessary. 

If the noise persists despite these efforts, it’s best to enlist the expertise of a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the underlying issue. This may involve replacing worn-out parts or addressing more complex mechanical problems. Our team of experts has years of experience, and we offer HVAC installation in Westminster to ensure that your system is installed correctly to avoid common home AC problems.

Thermostat Malfunction

A malfunctioning thermostat can disrupt the operation of your AC system, leading to temperature inconsistencies and discomfort in your home. According to Energy Star, the typical American household spends more than $900 annually on heating and cooling. Using a correctly configured thermostat can help reduce these energy expenses and streamline the process of adjusting temperatures to suit your preferences.

Symptoms of a faulty thermostat causing AC problems may include inaccurate temperature readings, failure to maintain the set temperature, or unresponsiveness to adjustments. Several factors can contribute to thermostat malfunctions, including dead batteries, calibration issues, or wiring problems. 

If you suspect a thermostat malfunction, start by checking the display to ensure it’s functioning correctly and accurately reflecting the set temperature. If necessary, replace the batteries, as dead batteries can cause the thermostat to malfunction. 

You can also recalibrate the thermostat to ensure it accurately senses and maintains the desired temperature.  If the thermostat continues to exhibit issues despite these troubleshooting steps, replacing it with a new one may be necessary. 

Consult a professional HVAC technician to solve this air conditioning problem for assistance with thermostat replacement and calibration to ensure compatibility and proper installation. When you need help with air conditioning in Westminster, our HVAC technicians can provide emergency repair services to help you address AC problems immediately.

Inadequate Maintenance

Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to various problems in your AC system, ranging from reduced efficiency to costly repairs. Regular maintenance tasks, such as cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting electrical components, are essential for running your AC unit smoothly. 

Without proper maintenance, dirt and debris can accumulate on the coils, reducing the lifespan of your HVAC system and heat transfer and efficiency. Similarly, low refrigerant levels or faulty electrical components can lead to performance issues if not addressed promptly. 

To diagnose inadequate maintenance, consider the last time your AC unit underwent professional maintenance or routine tasks such as cleaning the air filter and checking refrigerant levels. If it’s been a while since the last maintenance service, scheduling a thorough inspection to detect common home AC problems and tune up to ensure optimal performance is essential. 

We offer geothermal HVAC services, and a professional HVAC technician from Apple Plumbing, Heating & Air can assist in troubleshooting AC problems, cleaning the coils, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting electrical components to identify potential issues and address them before they escalate into more significant problems. 

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