Top Common Problems Aircon Owners Face and Maintenance Tips to Avoid Them

From time to time and especially if your aircon has been with you for a period of time, you will tend to face some technical issues with it.

Here are some common issues that you might face with your aircon and ways where you can attempt to use to troubleshoot the problems.

1. Having a filthy air filter

The air filters can usually be seen from the outside of the aircon. When the filter is not cleaned regularly, dust, pollen and other particles found in the air can be trapped on the filter, disrupting the flow of the air coming from the aircon.

You can easily solve this by having regular aircon servicing at least twice a year.

2. Problems with the condenser coil

If your aircon runs for a long period of time in a day, it is possible for debris to get stuck inside the tubes and coils, making it harder for the coil to cool the air passing through.

Eventually, when there is an extreme build-up of particles, it may present the aircon unit in cooling the room down to the desired temperature.

If the build up is simply too much, you can engage in aircon chemical wash or chemical overhaul services.

3. Defective thermostat

The thermostat is responsible for regulating the room temperature. It determines the start or stop of the cooling process until the room has reached its desired temperature. Thus, if its spoilt, the unit would not be able to tell when to stop or continue the cooling process.

If you suspect there is a faulty thermostat, you can engage in troubleshooting services to find the exact problem.

4. Faulty compressor

The compressor is vital in allowing the air-conditioned unit to cool the room. If the compressor is damaged, it means that the cooling cycle is broken

Here are some signs that your aircon compressor is faulty:

Aircon Not cooling enough

There are a number of factors attributing to the air conditioner losing its cooling efficiency, and one of the reason includes a defect in the compressor. This is because your unit could be having trouble maintaining the right pressure inside the compressor, due to the disparity between the suction and discharge pressure.

Aircon Hard starting

If your air conditioner unit is turning on and off sporadically, it could indicate that there is a problem with your compressor. Hard starting takes a toll on the unit’s cooling efficiency and could also affect it’s dehumidifying capacity. Though there are also other factors which could result in your aircon hard starting such as having a frayed wire or blown fuse.

Aircon Motor not starting

If you realise that your compressor’s motor is not working and will not start up despite numerous attempts, it could be an indicator that your motor has not faulty. You will then need to get it replaced or fixed as it affects the cooling system of your air conditioner unit. 

Overheating

Having your air conditioner unit overheating is one common problem that most homeowners face. It becomes an issue when you find your air conditioner unit overheating after just a few minutes of turning it on.

There are many factors associated with your unit overheating, such as due to the lack of proper maintenance, some parts of your air conditioner unit being faulty or defective and possibly that there is some debris stuck and clogging up your pipes.

Nonetheless, it is wise to get it check as it could indicate that other parts of your air conditioner unit is faulty and if need be you might have to change your existing unit.

 5. Clogged drain line

This is one of the most common reason why your aircon is leaking water.

One tell-tale sign for this is that your unit would shut down due to the emergency shutoff feature that most modern units have to protect your aircon when there is a clog in the drain line.

6. Broken pipe

The drain line is the pipe that links that overflow pan to the outside or the drainpipe. When you are checking the drain line, you should also check the overflow pan in your unit. The overflow pan is located beneath the unit.

Look for any cracks or holes as these could be the reason why water is spilling out onto the floor.

To test if you have a broken pipe, pour some water into the overflow pan. If the water does not drain out from the pipe, your pipe could be broken.

The best way to solve this issue is to hire a professional aircon repair contractor, who has the expertise to remove and build in a lasting pipe for many years to come.

7. Aircon freezing up

it is possible for your aircon to freeze up even in a hot a humid country such as Singapore. If you notice ice forming on and around your air conditioner You may quickly check the inside of your AC and found the coils covered in ice as well.

Some Common Causes:

There are a number of reasons why an air conditioner freezes up and it is important to identify the problem as soon as possible to resolve the issue.

  1. Insufficient air flow is one common cause. Without proper airflow, the cool air could cause form ice surrounding your coil, potentially damaging it.
  2. Any leaks in the refrigerant lines may also cause freezing up.
  3. Low outdoor temperature could be a reason as well, especially when the temperature falls below 60 degrees F. Though in Singapore, it is probably not the case.

If you do face the issue of your aircon freezing up, here are some tips which you can use to fix the problem:

• Defrost the unit

Start by turning off your unit. Make sure you place a large tray or cloth under the unit to collect the water as the ice melts. You can also run the aircon in ‘fan only’ mode to let the ice thaw. Make sure to clean the entire unit with dry cloths.

• Check the temperature setting

 Ice can build up in your unit, if you set the temperature too low. The ideal temperature that you should set your unit to would within the range of 25-18 degrees.

• Check for any obstructions

As mentioned before, it is important for you to ensure that your unit is having proper air flow, and one way to do so would be to remove anything that could potentially trap or prevent the air to flow properly

• Clean the air filter

Check whether the filter is dirty. Without regular maintenance, your air condition’s air filter may accumulate dust, dirt, and may get clogged, obstructing the air flow inside the system. Clean the filter with water and soap. If need be, do consider replacing your air filter as well.

• Clean the outside unit

Whether you are using a window, a central or a mini split air conditioner unit, it will have a large unit installed outside your home. Do check and ensure that there is nothing obstructing the airflow or that maybe there could be a problem with a dirty filter obstructing normal air circulation. When this issue arises, simply clear the obstacle away and clean out your air filter.

With proper care and upkeeping, you can extend and preserve the longevity of your aircon, allowing your unit to last you for as long as 10 years.

Here are some tips on what you can do to better maintain your air conditioner:

1. Replacing and cleaning your air filters regularly

If you stay near dusty areas (i.e near the road & industrial areas), chances are that your aircon filters are more prone to damages due to the accumulation of dust and dirt over time. Thus, it is important and crucial to clean your filters regularly. Even if you are not near places that are dusty, you should still change your filters at least bi-monthly.

2. Correctly setting your thermostat

There is a common misconception that by lowering the temperature below your desired room temperature, you would be able to cool the room faster. This idea is incorrect as ultimately, the system needs a minimum time to cool down- no matter how low you set it to. Instead by doing so, you are putting pressure on your system, affecting its performance in the long run.

3. Getting regular system servicing

If you use your aircon regularly, there is greater chance that your unit is more susceptible to defects or efficiency loss. Common problems that you might face may include the system not cooling down enough after a period of time or hearing loud noises coming from your unit. These are signs that your aircon needs to be repaired. Delaying or withholding having your aircon repaired could result in further damages in your unit. 

4. Giving your aircon a break

It is not wise to keep your unit running throughout the day as it puts pressure on the condenser. Doing so might cause the condenser to either breakdown or lose its efficiency.

When you find yourself being unable to fix or rectify the problems that you face with your air conditioner unit, it is probably a good idea to find a professional to help you.

As mentioned, with proper care and maintenance, you air conditioner unit is able to last you for a considerable period of time. Do be diligent with the upkeeping and spend when necessary to fix the technical problem you face with your unit, to save you from the headaches you might face.