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air conditioning repair

Why isn’t my air conditioning unit working properly?

Like lots of systems and appliances, air conditioning units can get less effective over time. To some degree, that’s to be expected, especially if you’ve had yours for ten years or longer. However, sometimes the problem can be caused by some more specific underlying issues, and not all of them have to do with the age of the unit. We’ve listed some of the most common here – some are simple fixes you can sort out yourself, and some of them need professional intervention.

User error

We’ll start with the most basic cause. It probably seems like it should be the most obvious too, but you might be surprised at how often it turns out to be the problem! If you start to experience issues with your air conditioning unit, the very first thing to do is check that it’s set to the mode you want it to be – whether that’s cooling or heating your interiors. While you’re doing that, it’s also worth double-checking that the temperature you’ve set it to is cooler than the room you’re in. If your thermostat is set to 19 degrees, and the room is at 18 degrees, it’s obviously not going to be doing a whole lot of work!

The air filters are clogged

Gradually, the air filters can be clogged with dust or debris. Just as with a normal drain, if enough of it collects in one place, it can start to affect the amount of airflow the unit receives, which in turn can have a drastic effect on its performance. Happily, this is another issue that you can often fix yourself – if the filters are dirty, just give them a quick clean with a cloth or brush. Dirty filters are one of the many things our engineers check for during routine air conditioning service and maintenance, so it’s not a bad idea to get yours booked in regularly!

dirty air conditioning filters

Dirty cooling coils

A very similar issue. Essentially your air conditioner is made up of two units – your indoor and outdoor units. Cooling coils play a vital function in both of them, absorbing the heat from inside and expelling it outdoors. When these coils get dirty, they conduct heat less efficiently, and that can have a knock-on effect on your whole system. Unlike simple thermostat checks, this isn’t a repair you can do yourself.

There’s no electricity to the outside unit

Your indoor unit and its counterpart outdoors both perform slightly different functions within your system, but one can’t work without the other. That means if there’s a problem with your outdoor unit, it’s likely to affect your indoor one, too. If you find that your air conditioning system suddenly isn’t regulating indoor temperatures as well as it used to, after checking your thermostat and filters it’s not a bad idea to check the main fuse board and unit isolators in your building. If it’s blown a fuse, don’t waste any time in contacting a professional engineer like ours, as it could be a serious safety issue.

The condenser is blocked

As we covered above, sometimes what appears to be a complex problem can turn out to have a very simple solution. Your condenser unit is generally outside, and if it’s on the ground level it can sometimes become gradually blocked by greenery – or even objects that have been placed carelessly in front of it. This affects its ability to properly release heat from the condenser coils, which ultimately affects your whole system. The solution is simple: just move the offending item, or cut away the greenery. You might be surprised at how often it solves the problem!

Component failure

As you can probably tell, this one’s a little more involved. The small upside is that it’s generally pretty easy for you to tell when this is the problem, as most modern units have a self-diagnosis function to give you a heads up. One way they tend to do this is by displaying blinking LEDs in a recognisable pattern or sequence. Alternatively, they might simply display a fault code. Either way, make note – it’s useful information to give to your engineer when you call us out to fix it. (Just as you might expect, the relative age of the system can play a big part in this sort of problem.)

fixing air conditioning

Low refrigerant (possibly due to a leak)

This one can be a little harder to spot, as low refrigerant might not necessarily result in a fault code. Refrigerant is basically the stuff that keeps your air conditioner working, helping it to cool or heat a room accordingly. Sometimes, your system can develop a leak, or otherwise lose fluid, which can impact its overall effectiveness. This is another prime example of something you can’t do yourself – you’ll need the professional expertise and services of one of our engineers.

So, what’s the best way to prevent these sorts of problems from developing? Simple – make sure that your air conditioning system is regularly serviced. Our engineers will assess the unit not just for any issues they’re currently experiencing, but also any developing issues that could turn into serious problems at some point in the future. You can get a free quote from right here on our site, or just give us a call on 01282 863 825, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help!

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