Before making an appointment for a diagnostic, it is a good idea to check through a list of a few basic things that might be going on with your unit that you can fix on your own. One of the most common problems is improper operation of the unit. When it is on, make sure all windows and outside doors are closed. For efficient room heating or cooling, isolate the room or group of rooms as much as possible from the rest of the house.
Sometimes problems arise from faulty installation, poor service procedures, and inadequate maintenance. Improper installation of an HVAC unit can lead to leaks in the duct work and low airflow. Many times, the refrigerant charge, or the amount of refrigerant in the system, does not match the manufacturer's specifications, which can lead to impaired performance and efficiency of the system. Usually this is when an unqualified service technician fails to find refrigerant charging problems or worsens existing problems by adding refrigerant to a system that is already full.
Manufactured HVAC systems are generally very sturdy, high quality products. If the system seems to be failing, first check any fuses or circuit breakers. Make sure the unit has cooled down for approximately five minutes before resetting any breakers. If the main compressor stops working on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped, and can be reset by pushing the button located in the compressor's access panel.
If your unit seems to be low on refrigerant, it is because it was either undercharged at installation or there is a leak. Adding refrigerant in this situation is not the solution to the problem, but calling a trained technician to assess the situation is. The trained technician will locate and fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant, knowing that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer's specification. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment, so it is important to call for an appointment immediately if you think you may have one.
Keeping your unit properly maintained is one of the most important and easiest ways to keep it running efficiently, and will also extend its life to the max. If the filters and coils become dirty and clogged, the system will not work properly, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely.
When the unit is turned on and off frequently, the compressor and fan controls can wear out quicker than normal, especially in an oversized system. Corrosion of wire and terminals can also be a problem, and it's important that these electrical connections are checked by a professional service technician.
The thermostat sensor is responsible for regulating the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil, and if it is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically. The thermostat sensor is located behind the control panel, and should be near the coil butnot touching it. Adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.
If your unit seems to be functioning inadequately and it's humid outside, check the condensate drain to make sure it isn't clogged and is draining properly. Individual room units may not drain properly if not mounted level.